A/N: ::screams like a banshee:: DAMN COMPUTER!!! Yeah, SO, earlier (shortly after the last chapter) my scanner, MS Word, and Internet were not working right. Later (weeks after), the internet began working again at minimal capacity. But THEN we got a cable bill for $1,000 because my father hooked up our crappy dial-up internet wrong when he was trying to fix it. So I haven't been able to use the internet for a month or two or three, which really sucks. GAR!! Nothing works in this godsdamn house! ::profanities:: ::ahem:: Well, I hope you like this chapter, though it's unfortunately very, very late. ::goes at computer with baseball bat::

Disclaimer: ::looks up from smashing computer:: What? You lookin' at me? YOU LOOKIN' AT ME?! ::chases with bat:: Don't run, DON'T RUN! AHAHAHAAA!!! (no, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh...or Dogma)

Wait, hold the phone! I gotta give thanks to the fans!!

Yami hitokiri: X3 Thanks so much! And yes, Bakura's as sharp as a marble.

Imigo: ::sniffle::You're so sweet! ::hug:: Thank yooouuu!!

Kitty Neko: Sorry I couldn't. ::angry at technology::

megaotaku: Thanks for the encouragement.

WARNING: Seto drops the F-bomb twice. (what was the point of that warning?)

::::::::::Chasing Away Confusion, and Back Again:::::::::::::::::

Joey scrubs at his skin furiously. He was pissed. He didn't know why, he was just pissed. ...Kaiba. That jerk.

He narrows his eyes at the shower wall. It was all HIS fault. It had to be. He rubs his face with a soapy hand. Damn him. It wasn't right...

He huffs in frustration. Why did it feel like he knew him? Like he was an old friend...like what just happened seemed almost familiar... comfortable...

"Agh, dammit!" He turns off the water and steps out of the shower. "This is drivin' me crazy!" He looks around for a towel, unaware of the opening door. "I'm just gonna-" He stops, hearing footsteps, and turns around.

'...oh my God.' Kaiba stares straight ahead of him at the quite naked Joey Wheeler. He had green and fresh black bruises along his chest, and shallow cuts decorating his arms. He stares. Yeah, he had helped bandage his leg, but he never saw the rest of his body; he had one of his schmucks take care of that. He stares some more. He knew he probably had nothing better to do with his time than pick fights with other losers, but he never expected him to be so... His eyes wander south, widening slightly. ...developed.

Joey recovers from his shock and swallows the smart-ass remark he was about to let out. "Mind handin' me a towel?"

Kaiba snaps his eyes up. '...why did I just look at him?' He grabs a towel from the closet behind him and holds it out, trying his best to glare. "Here mutt."

He takes it out of his hands, lightly touching his fingers. "I know I'm hot 'n everything, but damn..." He wraps the cloth around his waist. "Ya don't gotta stare."

Truth to be told, he had no idea if he was staring or not. He just needed to break the ice. ...that's not exactly how Kaiba took it.

He quickly averts his eyes, shoving the hand that touched his into a navy blue pocket. "I needed some deodorant."

"What, Stinky got a date?"

"No. I'm meeting with a very important woman to discuss my latest advancement in-"

"Sounds boring." Joey scratches his head, making a few yellow locks fall across his face.

"I suppose YOU would think that." The older boy busies himself with finding the aforementioned item. "But this is how I make my money. Some people actually have jobs..." He studies him from the corner of his eye. "Not that you'd know anything about that."

"Well excuse me, Mr. Bigshot. Ever hear a knockin'?"

"I assumed you were done. You've been in here for twenty five minutes."

Joey chokes back a surprised yelp. "I...I couldn't figure out howda get the water on." This was a bad lie, seeing as how there was only one knob in the shower, but he couldn't go and tell 'em it had taken him a while to get his...::cough::...circulation back to normal.

Kaiba wasn't in the state to see through him, so he just muttered a 'sure' and went back to searching the cabinets. The wet teen fidgets, desperately wanting some privacy. He taps his foot on the tiles, looking around the room impatiently. "Frikkin' mandrake..."

He pauses. "...what was that?"

"I said frikkin' mandrake."

He looks at him sideways.

"As in, ya drivin' me crazy like a mandrake."


"Ah sheesh. They're these little plant things dat look like people and when ya pull 'em up, they scream real loud and it drives ya insane."

He blinks a few times. It would appear the puppy did know a few things... snort 'Useless information.' He starts for the door. "I've got work to do."

"When's dinner?"

He sees him shrug before exiting. "How would I know, I'm just a mandrake."

The blonde scowls before stepping towards the mirror. "Jerk..." He rubs the foggy glass clean and grimaces at his reflection. 'I didn't know I was that banged up...I look like crap...' He lowers his eyes for a second, only to find the deodorant sitting on the counter, in plain sight. "That dummy. He forgot the deodorant..." He swipes it and walks out into the hall. "Hey Kaiba! Think fast!"

The brunette catches it without so much as a glance behind him, and continues on his way. Joey blinks and goes back into the restroom. Around the corner, though, Kaiba tries not to bash his head repeatedly into the wall. 'I can't believe I forgot the deodorant...'

The bathroom door closes and Joey stares into the mirror, putting on his best angry face. "I swear I'll get him back..." He freezes for a moment. Why was he swearing revenge again? "...for makin' me feel...funny." He wrinkles his nose. "Jerk."

Seto Kaiba paces the room restlessly. 'Where the hell is that woman?' He swings his arms back and forth in large claps. True, he didn't usually act this way, but he'd get his cool demeanor back once she got there. Right now, he just needed to get any anxiety he had out of his system.

Not a minute later did a harsh ring come from the front doors, signaling her late arrival. He immediately stops all fidgeting and strides over to the entrance, letting out an annoyed sigh. He hated doing these things. The door opens regardless of his feelings, and he's presented with a young woman smoothing out a rather scandalous business suit, copper hair put up in a sloppy bun and make-up slightly overdone. She whips her head up and clumsily tucks a few stray bangs behind her ear. "Hi!"

He tries not to let his disgust show. She was pretty, yes, but he got the distinct impression she had an impressive store of air in her cranium. "Hello, Mrs. Seita."

"It's Ms., but you can call me Liv." She thrusts a grocery bag into his arms and steps inside, kicking off her heels in a most unorthodox manner. "Nice place you have here!"

He studies her face as she looks around the room. She was laughing, and smiling, and seemed to be enjoying herself, but the telltale beads of sweat on her forehead reassured him of her nervousness.

She grabs the bag out of his hands and nearly runs to the kitchen. He twitches. 'Not another one...' He shuts the front door and heads for it as well.

"Liv" stands in the center of the large room, staring dumbly at her surroundings. "Woow. Nice kitchen too." She smiles airily and begins emptying the contents of the bag, which include but are not limited to: spaghetti noodles, an odd-looking jar of tomato sauce, some paper plates, and a bottle of cheap wine. Was she trying to get a rise out of him? He refrains from twitching. "What do you think you're doing?"

She just puts on another smile and looks for a way to work the oven. "I figured things would be easier if we talked over dinner." She pulls out a pot from the bag and skips over to the sink. "Is this water safe?"

Safe? SAFE?! Of course it's safe! It's the frikkin' Kaiba mansion! "...yes."

"I brought everything, so you don't need to worry." She fills it quickly and lifts it out with some difficulty.

"Wait, I've got it." He takes the large kitchen-ware and sets it on the stove. The last thing he needed was for her to spill the damn stuff all over his floor.

"Hehe. You're such a doll."

'And you're such an idiot.' At least the other women he worked with managed to maintain some level of dignity.

"Hm-hm-hmmm-hm-hm-hmmm..." She hums merrily to herself as she turns on the stove and waits for the water to boil. Kaiba walks to the far end of the room and blocks his view of her with one hand, rubbing his left temple with the other. The mere presence of the woman made his brain hurt. He sits like this for a while, sometimes wincing from his headache, sometimes stifling a laugh at the ways he was planning to viciously rip out her vocal cords and kill her with them. She calls him over in the middle of one of these schemes. He looks around to clear his head of gruesome daydreams and walks to where she stands near the oven. "Here," she takes him by the arm. "Could you stir this for me? My muscles are getting tired..." She puts him in front of her and leads his hand to the pot with sauce in it. "Very gently, stir the sauce in circular motions. Mm-hm. Just like that..." She edges her body closer, her arm still placed on his. "There you go..."

Kaiba tries not to grin. The contact and baby-talk were repulsive, but he knew she looked like a complete fool standing behind him with her little arms around his front. She must've been on tip-toe. He'd have to watch surveillance later and laugh at her.

She left him to go strain the noodles, giving him the chance to be alone with... the sauce. He didn't plan on eating the pasta. He raises his eyebrows and looks from side to side. Maybe he'd just spit in it once...no. She'd like that. She'd just loove to have Seto Kaiba's saliva, wouldn't she? That'd be like...indirectly making out with her. He shudders at the image. (though it'd be awfully funny on camera)

"Okay, out out." She urges him to leave the room. "Go wait on the couch, and I'll be out with the meal in a minute." He obeys and takes a seat on one of the smaller couches surrounding the coffee table in the living room, silently preparing for business conversation (if that was indeed possible with Ms. Seita).

He hears her coming from the kitchen, and quickly throws his legs across the remaining space on the couch. No way in Hell was she sitting next to him. She reaches the coffee table and sets the plates and glasses down, standing for an expectant minute beside the teen before finally taking a seat on the couch opposite of his. "Hm?" He pretends to snap out of his trance. "Oh. I didn't see you there." He puts his legs down and assumes a more professional position.

"It's okay," she hides her disappointment at not being able to eat closer to Seto Kaiba. Her face suddenly brightens at an apparently devious thought. Ah, shit. She found a loop-hole for hitting on him. "Why don't you start out by telling me about...your new Duel Disk?"

"Of course." He crosses his legs in a leisurely manner. "It's come to my attention that..." he pinches himself from saying 'idiots'. "Certain people are injuring themselves using my new transportable Duel Disks."

"Yes." She picks up for him. "Some kids have been launching/throwing the disks too hard and end up hitting their opponents with them. I understand that the disks aren't particularly heavy..."

'Or dangerous.'

"But the kids have been getting bruises, falling down and scraping their knees, you know, that kind of stuff, and their parents aren't too happy about it."

"I see..." He pulls out a pen and piece of paper from his pocket and jots a few things down. "Here, give this to your boss, it's my consent to..." ::flinch:: ...was she playing footsie with him? Her sly smile confirms his suspicions. Alas, he was forced to finish the sentence. "...shorten the cords on the Disks and label them with a warning not to stand too close to their opponent when dueling."

"Hehe. I'll be sure to give it to Mike." She takes the paper while running her foot up his pant leg.

'You'll GIVE IT to him all right. Probably how you got the fucking job, you slut.'

Little did they know, Joey Wheeler had been standing around the corner at the top of the stairs for quite some time. 'Sounds like they're talkin' about some pretty important stuff.' Of course, he hadn't actually heard a word they were saying, but the tones they used seemed promising. And now...now was the time to get Kaiba back for the thing that happened back in his bedroom that he doesn't like to talk about...or so Joey thought. (or was he really even thinking at all?)

"Oh Kaaaaibaaa!" He calls in a sing-song voice. "Do ya have a clean shirt I can wear?"

The brunette nearly falls off the couch. Why did he have to ask now? In the middle of a meeting?

Joey snickers into his hand before continuing. "Well, it's alright, I can get one out of your bedroom. And don't worry, I remember where it is. I dunno if it'll fit or not, seeing as how you're so big..." He emphasizes 'big' before snickering madly into his hand again.

Liv raises her eyebrows questionably. "Who's that?"

Kaiba closes his eyes and draws in a deep breath. "It's nobody." The press was gonna have a field-day with this one.

"What? Is that a woman's voice I hear?" Joey walks to the stairs with a towel still wrapped around his waist and gawks at the scene, trying his best not to laugh at his own act. "Seto!" He scolds before heading down the steps carefully, as he learned to do with his hurt leg, and pointing at his work associate. "And who is THIS?"

He didn't know whether to laugh at his ridiculous tone or attack him for interrupting business. "This is Ms. Seita. I told you I was having a meeting earlier, remember?" He adds a bit of menace to his question, daring him to further ruin things.

"You didn't say anything about having dinner with her, Darling."

She chokes on a non-existent drink. 'Darling?!'

Seto does likewise. "It wasn't my idea!"

Joey tries harder than ever to keep a straight face. This was working fabulously! "Well you coulda said no!"

"But--"He stops. He COULD have said no....like he USUALLY does...what the hell was wrong with him today? "It things."

"Like you are now?" The blonde asks, false hurt in his words.

"I'm not...trying to..." He studies the other teen's face carefully. The son of a bitch was gonna start laughing! "Go back upstairs! This is none of your business!"

"Make me Seto!" He sticks out his tongue childishly.

The female in the room stands up quickly, her arms spread out in surrender. "This is none of MY business. We'll finish this in a more appropriate location, Mr. Kaiba." She grabs her things and heads for the door.

"That's right! Don't be conducting your so-called 'business' in HERE!" Joey shouts after her. He waits for her to shut the door before adding a "whore" for good measure.

"Joey..." Kaiba's tone was dangerous. "What...the fuck...did you just do?"

He turns around smiling to meet his anger. "I got that chick outta your hair. Lower employees are just nuisances, right? You don't need 'em."

"That is not for you to decide!"

Joey staggers back. Did Seto Kaiba just raise his voice at him? Well, it's not like he shouldn't...it just felt...argh. "Ya got what ya needed...right?"

He stops his next sentence and releases a breath. "Yeah...I did."

Joey's relief was enormous. He hadn't intended to mess up a business transaction with an egotistic billionaire. Then how grand life would be...

"But..." He looks him in the eye for the first time that afternoon. "Don't pull anymore stunts like that, in front of people like her...and don't get involved."

There was that mysterious tone again, like he used when he'd been jokingly asked if he had killed anyone before. Was he trying to creep him out...or was he really hiding something? Some dark, dirty secret of the Kaibas....like on one of those movies...yeah. Heheh. Those movies are great.

Kaiba's wrath was spent for the time being. He was just...tired. The truth was, he was glad to get rid of that bimbo. She was driving him crazy...like a mandrake. Hm. How amusing.

Of course, Joey didn't know. Hell, he'd be pretty pissed if someone barged in on one of his meetings (if he had any) and drove everyone out actin' like a frikkin'...fairy. That was pretty low, he had to admit...but come on! The look on Kaiba's face! It was beyond priceless!

He had expected him to get furious, which he was used to. Hell, hit 'em if he had to. What he wasn't expecting...was that lingering moment when he passed him by, and murmured, "Thank you."

A/N: ::is trying not to laugh hysterically:: Sugar's bad for me. ::hiccup:: Well, at least Joey has spaghetti to eat if he gets hungry.

In other news (CANNONBALL!!!), the next chapter will be a mix between Joey/Seto and the other guys. Yup yup. I was only able to update this now because my friend is letting me use her computer while I'm at her house, which is for only like a day. Plus I have to see this shit about my e-mail address since I don't have an account on AOL anymore and everything's just CRAP. The shit has hit the fan you guys...

Please leave a review and let me know someone still cares. Thank you!