Seto slouched forward in his chair, staring at the front of his textbook absentmindedly, the teacher's words echoing through his ears, and right out again. He seemed to be staring intently at his desk, but he saw no ten dollar gold-plated pen, no run-down school issued science textbook, no scribbled messes on a cheap wooden surface. He saw only two bright, lively eyes, as sweet and chocolaty as brownies, as deep and beautiful as polished mahogany. There, almost in front of Seto's face, were those untamed bangs that hung down and threatened to tickle one's face if one leaned too close, the honey blonde locks of tangled, messy hair. It appeared so faintly, yet so distinctively in his mind.

'Jounouchi…' He sighed inwardly, wishing, hoping, that if he reached out, the soft skin would be there under his gentle fingers. And yet he knew that wouldn't happen. Not right now at the moment. A voice rang in his head and his name registered. Eyes coming back into focus, he faced the reality- a pissed off teacher, staring classmates, and the clock still ticking as slowly enough to test his sanity.

"Young mister Kaiba! I've asked you twice already to pay attention, now wake up and stop daydreaming before I become fed up with you."

'Young?' He thought scornfully, angry that he had been so rudely awakened from such a beautiful sight. 'I order around men twice his age. I don't need to listen to him.' In response, Seto placed his elbow on the desk, yawned, and proceeded to stare out the window. The result was a round of giggling from the students and the teacher's face becoming a rather pretty shade of violet.

"I don't know what's gotten into you, Kaiba, you're normally one of the best students, but I'll have you know I do not play favourites in this class, and you can't say I didn't warn you!" Seto was unimpressed by the speech, and showed just how much so by completely ignoring the teacher, trying in vain to conjure up the mental portrait of Jounouchi again. "That's it!" The teacher cried, slamming down the textbook he had been reading from, causing most of the class to jump in their seats. Seto remained unfazed, although he finally turned to lock an icy glare upon the teacher. "I've had it with your insolence! Up to the principal's office! Now!" With an annoyed but superior snort, Seto rose from his seat and sauntered from the classroom, his cold gaze enough to cause any student to avoid looking twice.

As he wandered down the halls, Seto fell back into the dreamlike state, wishing that he could be with Jounouchi rather than in this hellhole of gabbing students and self-important teachers. It seemed mere seconds before he was seated on the cold wooden bench, complaining to himself mentally about how cold and uncomfortable it was. When he entered the office a few moments later, the principal looked up with surprise.

"Seto Kaiba. I never thought I'd see you in here. Please, sit." The only reply he received was a grunt as the boy sat down, thrown off by the fact that it was usually he that sat behind the large desk and told a lesser human being to take a seat. The principal looked down over his glasses at Seto, greatly troubled to see such an intelligent student in trouble with the school. "Your teacher says that you were daydreaming all of his class, then completely ignored him when he was speaking to you. Is there something on your mind, Seto?" The brunette glared at him, making him recoil slightly.

"I would prefer you called me by my last name. And yes, there is something on my mind. School is a low priority for attention when someone I care about is in the hospital." He said all of this unemotionally, lacing every word with his opinion that every second he spent in this damned institute was a waste of his time. The principal seemed to ignore this, nodding solemnly.

"I'm sorry to hear that. Is it your brother?" He had, in fact, expected that there was something up with Mokuba. It wasn't all that unusual for Seto to leave school without permission if Mokuba was in danger of any harm of sorts. He had heard that explanation many times before, and had accepted it readily. For some reason, he pitied Seto. So cold, so lonely. He had no friends, no loving parents, no one but Mokuba. It was, to the principle, quite understandable. So when Seto shook his head, the surprise in his expression was evident. Before he could pry any further, Seto stood up.

"If that's all you wanted to know, may I leave now please? It's just about time for lunch, and I think there's nothing else I need to answer." He said this firmly, as if that ended the conversation where it stood. The principal saw that Seto wasn't about to tell him anything more, so he nodded.

"Alright, but I don't want to see you in here again. You still need to pay attention in class." Seto nodded, although he hadn't really heard it, and left the office in his usual cold silence, leaving the balding, spectacled man to watch him through baffled eyes.

'I'll never understand that boy.'

Seto sat outside under a tree, the grass dotted with golden and red hued leaves. A chilly wind blew, and the tree swayed softly, the leaves rustling against one another. He pulled his coat closer around his slim, muscular frame, leaning back into the rough bark of the maple's trunk. All was silent, and at last he was left to his thoughts. The wind blew stronger, and several leaves fluttered down around him, and he looked up, catching one out of the air and studying it.

'This is almost the colour of Jounouchi's hair…' He thought to himself, folding the leaf in half and putting it in his pocket, not entirely sure why, but not really questioning his actions. His stomach gurgled, but like everything else, it was ignored. He hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, which he had only even done because Mokuba had guilted him into it. He honestly couldn't care less, his mind on the beautiful creature that lay in the hospital by his own doing. He closed his eyes and memories flooded through his brain.

He groans slightly and his eyes open slowly, a small, tired smile appearing on his face. I realise suddenly that I haven't stopped smiling, and I quickly turn it into a smirk. I can tell from the look in his eyes that he'd already seen it though, and he moves closer.

"Mornin' Seto." He murmured.

"Morning Jou." His eyes widened a little in surprise.

"What did you call me?" Now my smirk can't help but dissolve into a real smile. He looks so cute right now with his eyes confused but joyful at the same time, not to mention the adorable quality that being tired gives him. When he's not groaning or whining at least.

"Jou? That is your name, isn't it?" I teased, wrapping my arms around him and nuzzling my cheek into his. He smiled back at me, closing his eyes.

"You've never called me by my nickname before." I run my hands through his hair and glance at the clock on the bedside table. It's almost ten thirty already.

"I have now." He grins and leans into my chest- God this is bliss. "You want to go downstairs for some breakfast?" His stomach growls in reply, and I laugh. "I'll take that as a yes." I roll out of bed, and he whimpers when the body contact is gone. He's so cute sometimes.

He was snapped out of his thoughts by the crunching of leaves under someone's feet. He glanced over at the short boy that was approaching him, a quick glance at his outrageous hair confirming who he had expected it to be. Seto got up quickly, turning his back to Yugi and staring to walk away. Yugi broke into a run, steam spilling from his mouth as he cried out,

"Wait!" Seto paused, as if considering whether or not to grace his rival with his presence. Without turning around to meet his gaze, Kaiba replied coldly with an almost exasperated

"What do you want?" Yugi caught up with him and stopped, leaning against the tree to catch his breath.

"I just wanted to ask how Jou was doing. Any improvement?"

"He woke up last night." He said, happiness almost suggested in his voice. "But his condition is still critical. He lost a hell of a lot of blood." Yugi nodded.

"He woke up! That's got to be a good sign!" The short boy paused for a moment. "And… how are you doing? This has got to be tough for you too, I mean-"

"Why do you care?" Seto cut him off, turning around to meet his gaze for the first time that day. Yugi looked up at him, and Seto could see just how hard he was trying to be nice.

"Because… Jou would care. It's bad enough having to worry about him… we don't need him worrying about you." Yugi smiled, and Seto looked off into the distance, mumbling something Yugi couldn't hear. "Pardon?" He asked, but Seto shook his head and walked away. Yugi watched as he left.

((He's changed.))

(What do you mean, Yami?)

((He used to be a lot colder. A couple months ago, he wouldn't have given you the time of day, let alone have something so closely resembling a conversation with you.))

(Yeah, that's true. But being around Jou has changed him for the better.)

((Just as Jounouchi spending time around you made him change for the better, Aibou.)) There was a temporary halt in conversation as Yugi considered this, thinking back to when his best friend was a fearful bully, teasing him and hurting him for entertainment.

(Yeah. He's changed too. I guess people just have that kind of effect on one another.)

((Yes…)) Yami paused. ((Do you suppose… we've changed too?)) Yugi sat down against the tree as Kaiba had a few minutes earlier.

(Us? What do you mean?) Yami was silent as he struggled to find the words for what he was saying.

((Well… do you think we have had an affect on one another like that?)) Yugi smiled.

(Of course, Yami. I have a lot more self-confidence since we've been together.) Yami cringed inwardly. The way Yugi had said it, it sounded as if they were a couple. He sighed mentally.

'If only.'

((Yes, that's true. Now that I think about it… you are braver and less afraid to speak your thoughts.))

(And you're friendlier, too.)

((Am I?)) He laughed cheerfully. ((I suppose that's a good thing.))

(Yami… I've been thinking… about what you said five days ago.)

((Oh. That. I'm sorry for being so stupid, so… naïve.)) A puzzled look appeared on Yugi's face.

(What are you apologising for?) There was no reply from Yami. After a little while, Yugi smiled softly. (Yami… do you really care?) Yami remained silent for what seemed like forever to Yugi, and then simply replied:

((Yes.)) The smile on Yugi's face spread into a grin.

"I love you, Yami." He whispered, leaning back into the tree and closing his eyes. Leaves fluttered by as the wind blew, dancing in patterns of red, gold, and orange. The casual onlooker would only have seen a short boy that appeared to be sitting alone under a tree, but had they looked closer, into the very depths of his heart, they would know for certain that he was anything but alone.

Jounouchi stared at the clock with a growing annoyance. School took too long to end. If only Seto could just skip, then he could be with him all day. Even though Jou had barely enough energy to smile, he felt strong enough to lift the world and carry it on his shoulders when Seto looked into his eyes. He sighed.

'I'm so stupid. I can't believe I tried to kill myself over a stupid little journal entry. I can't believe I was dumb enough to even read the damn thing. I'm such an idiot… when will Seto get here? I want to see him again, I'm so lonely, stuck here in this damned hospital.' He yawned and settled back into the pillow. 'I wonder what he's doing right now…' His eyes fluttered shut, and the world around him disappeared. Within a few moments, Jounouchi was snoring. He slept for three hours, blissfully unaware of the machinery beeping at his side, the tubes putting blood back into his veins, the stiff white sheets and the looming scent of antiseptic. When Jounouchi opened his eyes again, a tall brunette boy sat by his side, his hand on Jounouchi's cheek. When the blonde's eyes opened, Seto retracted his hand quickly.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up." Jou smiled.

"It's okay- I wouldn't want to sleep through a visit from you." Seto nodded, but his eyes were distant, and he appeared very thoughtful.



"Why… did you… try to kill yourself?" Jounouchi sighed, looking up at him, into his sparkling blue eyes.

"I read that journal of yours that was in your room." Seto's eyes flashed with an unrecognisable emotion.

"The one on my desk?" Jou nodded. With a sigh, he ran his fingers through his puppy's hair as he had longed to do all day. "That journal is at least a year old. The only reason I had it out was so I wouldn't forget to throw it away." Jounouchi's eyes widened. "You didn't really think I'd be that careless with something as private as a diary, did you?" Jou looked down at his feet, avoiding his gaze.

"I guess… I wasn't really thinking about it at the time." Seto, to Jou's surprise, began to laugh light-heartedly.

"It's okay… just make sure next time you read something like that, you talk to me about it before you do anything this drastic." Jou nodded, but after a while looked up at him again and asked:

"Did you really used to hate me?" Seto stroked his hair, looking into his eyes.

"Yes, that's what I believed at the time."

"So… what changed that?" Seto looked out the window, thinking for a bit, then sighed.

"I guess… watching you around your friends, I realised I was jealous of them." Jounouchi looked up into his lover's gaze, a bit confused.

"Why were you jealous?" Seto's gaze returned to Jounouchi's, and he couldn't help but feel entranced by those deep, brown eyes.

"You were the one thing I really wanted that I couldn't have." Jou looked a bit disappointed, and mumbled

"So I was just another possession to you?" Seto shook his head.

"Not at all. That was what I told myself at first, but it was always something… deeper than that." Jounouchi looked into his eyes, wishing he had the strength to hold him close, to never let go, and mumbled something. Seto looked back at him. "Hmm?"

"…The one you would wait for?" Seto smiled.

"Yeah… the one I would wait for." Jounouchi smiled back, and stared at the ceiling for a bit, obviously deep in thought. "What're you thinking about, Jou?" Their gaze locked again.

"You've waited by my side for four days already." Seto shook his head.

"No, puppy. I've been waiting by your side for almost two months now." Jounouchi grinned.

"You count?" Seto opened his mouth to say something, but Jounouchi cut him off. "I used to count the hours until I'd see you." Seto appeared surprised, but happy.

"You… you did?"

"I still do. When I'm lying in bed, I have nothing else to look forward to. It's just the same thing all over again, lying here because I tried to kill myself. I guess… you'll have to wait even longer now." Seto reached out and ran the back of his fingers down Jou's cheek, and smiled tenderly.

"Well... I guess can wait a little longer. But only because it's for you."


And there you have it! The end! And because I promised you guys a little lemony action, in a day or two I'll go back and add in that scene when Jou and Seto erm… uh… *cough* you know. The one I left out. I'll go add that in in a little while. I hope you liked my ending ^_^ I spent several hours on this last chapter to make it nice and long, just for you guys! Seto x Jou forever! Yay!