Turning the Tables

Chapter Eight: Thoughts

AN: Yes, it's back. And hopefully, I'm going to be at least ninety percent back as well. However, I do need to get into the groove of writing Yu-Gi-Oh fanfics again if I'm going to finish TtT – and I'll be damned if I don't finish it! If anyone's got any suggestions for the next chapter, feel free to AIM me, Email me, or just review. Beware: My writing style's changed a bit. ;)

AN 2: Alright, it seemed like there's something funky with this file when I uploaded it - parts missing, stuff like that. I think I fixed it and rectified the formatting, but if not.. tell me:p And don't bite my head off. Not my fault!

Post Note: Alright, it's being fucktarded. So I replaced special characters with parentheses and spaces with (shift scene). Please ignore and treat as a doublestrike of the enter key, because you'd be as confused as fuck if you just read it without anything. Bah! It's also having issues with italics and /italics. Anyone else having this problem or know how to fix it so I don't kill someone first?

AIM: CityBS2006

- Yami's POV-

Seto's up to something. I can see it in the way he keeps looking around, like an asp choosing the best time and place to strike its victim. I can no longer clearly comprehend his surface thoughts, which have become far more ranged and… un-Kaiba-like in the last two hours than they have in the entire time he has been with us. My hikari is getting suspicious of my constant dodging of his questions in regards to the dog, and my cease in urgency regarding the swift location of Seto Kaiba. Despite my little hikari's innocence and skill, sometimes I think he's too smart for his own good.

The sky is bright tonight.

The air is clean and there are few clouds drifting across the evening sky, leaving the stars to twinkle down upon the sparkling city. Yugi decided that he and I should come up to the roof this night and stargaze, to allow Joey a bit of time to recuperate. Strangely enough, the stars I see above us this night don't look quite like the ones that normally shine down… nor do they look like any stars I've seen in many, many years.

I squint up at the sky again, my mind absently retracing patterns that were so familiar to me... patterns I thought lost to the world. The constellations of the gods – but, no, that can't be right. The stars seen in Egypt are drastically different from the ones here, or so my hikari tells me, and I have never known him to lie. This is very strange. Very strange, indeed…

For the stars of the ancient gods to be seen is something rare, even in my homeland. Something is not right.

(Shift Scene)

Yugi glanced over; Yami looked preoccupied… he almost always did, yes, but he seemed more pensive than usual. Sitting there with that ponderous look on his face, with his lips curled slightly downward in a thin frown, Yami looked good enough to eat – but Yugi recognized that his Yami was thinking about something that was most likely important. On his part, Yugi was just relieved that Joey was safe from his father and that nothing terrible had happened.

He leaned back on his sleeping bag, curling up against Yami and readjusting his overly-fluffed pillow while glancing upwards, following the spirit's gaze up to the heavens. Maybe Yami missed his home, back in Egypt, and his time as the Pharaoh; a god in his own right, a god that walked the earth with mankind.

Choosing to leave such musings to a later date, the little hikari snuggled up against Yami again and tried to engage him in conversation. When Yami declined and started to deny and avoid his questions once again, Yugi rolled his eyes with a smile and fell quiet, just resting against the spirit happily.

(Shift Scene)

Within the house, Joey lay on the bed in the guestroom with Seto curled up against him, the dog snoring lightly and looking too cute for words. The blonde lifted a hand and ran it through his hair, staring blankly at the ceiling above him.

He's really gone?

Seto shifted a little, rolling partially onto his back and jutting a huge-pawed front leg out into the air before draping it across Joey's chest, yawning and hitting the boy with a fresh blast of dog breath. Wrinkling his nose but far from upset, Joey hugged the dog closer against him, causing the dog's tail to whip back and forth despite his slumber.

He won't be after me anymore?

The blonde's hand flicked lightly against one of the cuts on the side of his forehead caused by the latest episode with his father back at their apartment, eliciting a small flinch from the teen. Joey's eyes focused on his hand – it was trembling.

I won't need to be afraid of going home?

It was sinking in, slowly but surely, that Joey wasn't going to have to live out the rest of his childhood under the brutal thumb of his deadbeat father. Which, of course, begged the next question.

'Where am I going to live?'

Next to him, Seto shifted a little and lifted his head to stare at Joey with sleepy blue eyes, yawning once. "Sorry, pup… didn't mean t'say that out loud and wake ya up," Joey murmured, reaching over to ruffle the dane's ears fondly. The dog made a 'tch' sound, causing the blonde to raise an eyebrow. "Yanno, sometimes it almost feels like y' can understand me, Seto."

With those thoughts on his mind, Joey rolled himself up a little more in the sheets, letting the big canine creep up a little closer. As the blonde's hair hit the pillow, so too did the dog's nose. "It's good to have you as a friend, Seto. I just wish the real Kaiba'd act so nice-like," Joey said as he shut his eyes, curling an arm around his dog.

(Shift Scene)

Painful. So very painful was that last statement of Joey's, a barb that cut right to Seto's heart. Was he really that bad to the mutt? Was he really so cruel that everyone thought him some kind of vicious bastard? Sure, he might be an aggressive businessman, but that didn't mean he wasn't a generally good-hearted guy. Did it?

He pulled both paws up to rest them on the pillow, propping his chin up over his 'wrists' with a thoughtful expression, frowning as much as his loose canine lips would allow. And Mokuba… poor Mokuba, all alone in that mansion, fending off the corporate slime that was doubtlessly demanding to know where he was and when he was coming back, looking for a chink in the Kaiba armor to devastate the company, the Kaiba reputation, and the Kaiba family…

Well, he wouldn't allow it to continue. If anything, he was doubly determined to prevent any harm from coming to Mokuba – and Joey, too. The mutt really deserved credit for handling himself the way he did, what with his father and all. Seto could surely relate, for being Gozaburo's son was no picnic.

He was Seto Kaiba, dammit! He didn't take shit from anyone, and neither did the people he cared for!

Contented with his mental rant, Seto tilted his head to the side, contemplating the blond boy who was now lightly dozing next to him, well on his way to a deep, restful slumber. A somewhat softer look permeated the billionaire dog's electric blue eyes as he gazed at Joey, and a moment later he leaned over to lick the blonde's face once; gently, to ensure that he wouldn't wake up. Then Kaiba settled back down, ready to sleep himself. As he neared the brink between wakefulness and sleep, he could've sworn he heard someone laughing – someone who sounded quite like himself – but then darkness took him, lowering his eyelids into relieved, exhausted sleep.

(Shift Scene)

In a distant place, far from the Motou house and from the world as Seto Kaiba knew it, a young man was sitting on a long golden divan padded with soft silk, his back propped up on a selection of fine pillows stitched with the finest threads. The man's skin was tanned a dark, dark bronze, and he was lean and almost catlike in body and movement. His clothes were fairly sparse – a tunic and a robe – but the dark bluish-purple fabric of each article was accented with golden plating and embroidery. Bands of polished gold were clasped around his arms just beneath his shoulders, and his forearms were wrapped in gold cuffs as well.

The man smiled as he looked into a small silver bowl beside him, viewing the reflection of a blonde haired youth and a dog curled up against each other. The man ran slender fingers through his chocolate brown hair, and smiled. His electric blue eyes were focused with a sharp edge, and they rested under a dark brow. He tapped his smooth chin after a moment, then chuckled. Good. Finally, that brat was getting some sense into his head. It looked like his plans were working, at least for the time being.

-Joey's POV-

It's dark, but there is light. I'm standing, but I don't know what I'm standing on. My eyes are open, but I'm not seeing anything. It's so very, very hot… but I feel like an icy chill just ran down my entire body… my soul, even.

There's a light…!

I turn my head towards it, and I can finally see… something. No, someone. There's a guy coming towards me. A tall guy, too. He even seems kind of familiar, even though I can't see his face – the light's coming from behind him.

"Joey Wheeler."

He knows my name. That's kind of strange, but I am a duelist and the right-hand buddy of Yugi Motou, so maybe it's not impossible. The man holds his hand out towards me, stopping a few yards away.

"Joey Wheeler."

I frown; I hate guys who repeat themselves too much. But he looks kind of… inviting, actually. I can't really see, but I think he's smiling. And he looks warm. I start walking towards him – what've I got to lose, anyway?

Okay, so I find out I'm walking on sand. Black sand; sand as fine as flour. As I get closer to the guy, he moves back – but he's not actually moving. He's just kinda… gliding. He's still holding his hand out to me, but I can see now that he's grinning. Grinning like he's laughing at me.

His face isn't his face any more, or maybe it never was. Now it's Kaiba's face, and he really is laughing at me…!

I clench my fists, and the image of Kaiba grows larger, still laughing that cold, hard laugh he's got. The sand suddenly pours out from below me, like it was going into an hourglass, and I'm falling – and he's still laughing.

Then everything's black for a little while. When things finally get light again, I'm standing in a room; a real fancy room, too, like you'd find in an office building. And there's a little kid with dark brown hair standing in front of a desk, and a big beefy guy in a swiveling chair in front of him, shouting loudly. The kid's head is bent, like he doesn't have a friend in the world, and he's got this look on his face that I sometimes used to get with my dad.

"You'll never be a Kaiba! You always let yourself get in the way!"

The old guy's yelling at the kid some more, and this time I can actually make out what he's saying. Wait – Kaiba? The kid says something back, real snappish, too – and the guy gets up and starts going at the kid like he's just a little worm and he wants to stamp him out of the world for good. The kid's not even screaming…

(Shift Scene)

Joey woke up with a start, breathing heavily and drenched in cold sweat. Where was he? Was he safe? What happened to that kid? Was it really Kaiba? Was-

Suddenly, Joey's train of thought was cut brutally short. He blinked several times, and stared down at his lap. Halfway draped across it with both paws – arms! – wrapped around his midsection, head snuggled in against the blonde's stomach, was none other than the missing billionaire, Seto Kaiba.

Things like this called for quick decisions, and Joey made one: he screamed.

(RC, with Bakura, Seto, and Yami! Newly shortened for space's sake; reviews chosen at random.)

City: Alright, that was probably extremely confusing. Trust me, I confuse myself sometimes.

Bob: Fft.

Bakura: On to the reviews?

City: Yes, on to the reviews.

MrPointyHorns: I want a blue Bakura flag. Just to let you know. If you wanted to know.

Bakura: Of course you want a blue Bakura flag! (whips out collection and gives MPH one)

MrPointyHorns: Great work on the fic. Well written. Very cute, just like a puppy's should be.

Seto: Psh.

MrPointyHorns: There were two muffins and they were put in an oven to bake, and one muffin said to the other, "Gee, it's getting hot in here." And the second muffin said, "Holy crap, a talking muffin!" Do you know the Muffin Man?

Bakura: Well, yeah, there are talking muffins. Didn't you know that? And of course I know the Muffin Man.

Yami: …

Seto: o.O

City: Right. I'm going to just not think about Bakura and muffins ever again. I don't want to know. On to the next one, Bob the Mighty!

Icy Flame: Love the story. It's great. I haven't read anything where Seto gets turned into a dog. I like the originality of it all. Plus it's just too cute! I mean we only torture the characters we love! Hehe, sorry. I still love the scene where he gets a nosebleed while Joey's changing, hehe. Ah that still cracks me up.

Seto: …

Yami: …

City: (grins)

Icy Flame: I also like the lil touch of Yami knowing that it's Seto. I feel real bad for Mokie though. I almost pissed myself with the kibble bit, scraping the bacon grease in his pan. Ah, poor Seto! (grins)

Seto: (splutters)

Yami: I'm a genius. Hasn't anyone figured this out yet?

Icy Flame: (glomps author, waves)

City: (glomped!)

Brittany: I loved your story, City. But, you should put a little bit more Joey x Kaiba fluff. But it was good overall!

Seto: You can stuff that fluff where the sun don't-

Bakura: Be nice to reviewers! (slaps hand over Seto's mouth)

Neko Kitty Chan: (pets Seto) There there, puppy. It'll be okay.

Seto: (sits through the petting with an evil look)

Neko Kitty Chan: You'll get back into your nice rich sexy body soon. (reaches for Seto's wallet) Ermm, great chapter, really getting into this fic.

Seto: Hands. Off. The. Money. MINE. But yes. I do have a nice, rich, sexy body.

Neko Kitty Chan: I have one question for you though. Can I kill Joey's dad? I promise it won't be messy and I'll clean up all the evidence!

City: Unfortunately, no. As cool and awesome as it would be to have Mr. Wheeler brutally beaten to death by a rabid fangirl, I have for him other… plans. Bwa. Take it away, Bobbie!

Bob: (sighs) Alright. Read, review, do fun things, drool over Kaiba and Joey. Done? Good. Next chapter should be coming soon, with any luck. No previews for you! Tell us what you think should happen next!