No snow at Christmas

Warnings/notes : Seto/Joey, Otogi/Honda, Christmas-songfic, focus shifts after each song-fragment.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. The song 'It doesn't often snow at Christmas' belongs to The Pet Shop Boys.

written at 18th december 2003, by Misura

Note : hints at Yami and Yugi being a couple ^^;

Thanks to TigerZahn (glad you like it!), JuniperMoon (I'm too shy for it. Though I do want to ^^;), hieiandkuramalover (don't worry, they'll cheer up!), black luna (well, angsty endings aren't my thing really. Sorry. ^^;), Shadow Ishtar (sorry for the wait), chibibaka1 (thank you!), Kaira-chan (*points at disclaimer* to answer your question and thank you for the information on Otogi ;_; poor guy!), Enchantress of the Night (thank you, I did), Suppis Tenshi (sorry, for the lateness ^^;), I luv Kai (well, only the beginning I'm afraid ^^;), Temptress Nagisa (thanks for the encouragement!), Leaf Zelindor (thank you!), DarkShadowFlame (yes, it's Angst. Shame on me, ne? ^^; but the ending's fluffy I think), Tora Gakuto (thank you!), Mel Gods (ah, we all have our crazy relatives, ne? or just annoying ones … ^^; thank you!), YaoiYaoiYeah (I wished for reviews and inspiration so … thank you!) and Kiawna (thank you!).

**********

//But I'll still have a glow at Christmas

because I'll be with you// [Joey]

He didn't pay much attention to where his feet were carrying him. Thus, Joey found himself facing the gates of a familiar mansion when he bothered to look up. Light was shining through the windows downstairs, so he guessed Kaiba had kept his promise to Mokuba this year.

The smell of hot chocolate was carried in his direction by the cold wind, prompting his stomach to remind him his last meal had been a meager lunch. For a moment, the temptation to walk up to that door and ask for something to eat was very strong.

But he had his pride and he didn't want to interrupt Mokuba's Christmas. If only Yugi and Yami hadn't left town ... he'd have been more than welcome at the Gameshop, he knew. As long as Grandfather was around, the usual kissing and groping that went on between them was limited to a minimum, so he wouldn't be feeling guilty.

Yugi and Yami ... they were good together. Everybody said so. They were as good together as he and Kaiba were bad, always bickering and fighting. Joey sighed. The comparison wasn't really a fair one to make, of course. He and Kaiba had never declared to be in love with each other.

Joey's fantasies sometimes painted a different picture, but that was his own problem. He had no right to envy Yami and Yugi for what they had, no matter how much he wished to have it too.

"If you're going to stand there staring at us all night, you might as well come inside and have some hot chocolate. Mutt." The insult was added almost as an afterthought, like it didn't mean anything.

Joey turned around to find Kaiba staring at him, an odd expression on his face. Not a scowl. Wow. It looked like even Kaiba had somehow gotten into the Christmas-spirit.

//The Christmas message was long ago lost

Now it's all about shopping and how much things cost// [Honda]

He spent what little money was in his pockets on a hotdog and a cup of coffee, in one of the few cafetarias that were still open on this night, at this hour. The man behind the counter didn't comment on his lack of proper winter-clothing or what a teenager like him was doing here, all alone.

Perversely, Honda felt disappointed at that. He was fairly cold and hungry by now, hence his purchase, and eating black-scorched turkey with his family was beginning to sound better and better. Angrily shaking his head, he emptied his cup of coffee.

There was no way he'd go back now. It'd mean admitting he'd been *wrong*, which he wasn't prepared to do. What he did want was someone to tell him he'd been *right*, someone who'd support him. Though he'd be more than happy to settle for someone who'd offer him a warm place to stay.

Walking back to where he'd parked his bike, Honda wondered if Otogi might be at home. Probably not, considering the amount of girls who'd invited him for a visit. He hadn't heard Otogi outright accept any of them, but that was just the way Otogi played it. Cool and aloof.

Leading people on somewhat, perhaps, though Honda didn't think Otogi did that on purpose. At least, not with the intention of hurting anyone's feelings.

Joey wouldn't be home either, finally having gotten his wish to spend Christmas with his sister again. He'd been so excited about it that Honda'd felt obliged to tell him to shut up about it a few times.

//It's meant to be goodwill as well as synthetic fun

and what is this year's festive number one// [Seto]

If truth be told, Seto hadn't really expected Joey to accept his invitation. He had no idea what the blond had been doing outside in the cold, but he was reasonably sure Joey hadn't dropped by for a Christmas-fight and gotten scared at the last second.

Joey lacked the intelligence to be afraid, for starters. More than half of the times it was Seto who initiated their arguments, simply because he enjoyed watching Joey getting all worked up. There was something beautiful about the way Joey's eyes sparkled when he got angry.

Doing other things to Joey than making him mad at Seto might cause that sparkle too, but so far Seto hadn't found any good opportunity to try any of them out. Perhaps tonight ...

"I'm tired. I think I'm going to bed now." Mokuba yawned, slipping off the couch and heading for the door with a tired smile at Joey and a wink for Seto. "Good night, big brother, Joey."

"Sleep well, Mokuba. I'm sure Santa will bring you lots of presents tomorrow." Seto replied, mock-glaring at Mokuba, who grinned back, unconcerned.

"Does he really believe in Santa?" Joey asked, as soon as Mokuba was gone.

"No, but he likes pretending." Seto sighed.

//It doesn't often snow at Christmas

the way it's meant to do// [Otogi]

He should have known. The moment he'd noticed Honda's bike was gone he should have come to the obvious conclusion that Honda, for some reason, wasn't home. But no, he had to walk up to the door and ask if he might see Honda.

Otogi shivered. Honda had told him about his family sometimes, yet he'd always thought those stories were just that : stories. Honda liked to goof around a bit after all, so it had seemed logical he might have exaggerated a wee little bit in describing his relatives.

He hadn't. If anything, Honda's stories had made the truth look prettier than it was. Otogi had the impression that it was only thanks to the special day today was that he'd escaped with his life.

Well, at least he knew now why Honda had never invited him over, while Otogi's house was always open for any of Yugi's friends. Now, if only he could find out where Honda had gone ...

Absent-mindedly twirling a lock of his hair around his finger, Otogi considered his options. Though it galled him to admit it, he truly didn't have any idea where he might find Honda. Alone and cold, Otogi slowly walked back home. It seemed he wouldn't escape his dreadful, lonely Christmas this year after all.

//But I'll still have a glow at Christmas// [Joey]

Joey smiled, feeling oddly relaxed. Probably it was the hot chocolate, that still seemed to warm him from the inside. Kaiba not getting on his nerves for once helped too, of course.

If anyone'd see them now, they might be mistaken for two friends, spending Christmas evening together. That idea struck him as terribly funny somehow. He chuckled.

"Mind letting me in on the joke?" Kaiba inquired coolly.

"I was just thinking." Joey shrugged, hoping Kaiba'd be satisfied with that vague answer.

"A new experience for you, I'm sure." Kaiba smirked.

Joey rolled his eyes. "You're going to ruin the picture if you keep that up, you know."

Kaiba raised one eyebrow. "What picture?"

"The one of us being together, like friends." Joey tried not to blush. It sounded a bit silly, now that he said it aloud.

"You wouldn't mind us being seen as friends?" Kaiba asked, a curious tone in his voice.

Joey shook his head. "No. Why should I? You're - " He managed to stop himself before he made a total fool of himself by calling Kaiba something embarrassing like 'kind of cute'. Or, worse, 'kind of sexy'.

Kaiba smiled, as if he had read Joey's mind somehow. "So are you."

Joey blinked, trying to puzzle out what *that* remark was supposed to mean. And then there was no need for him to think of something smart to say anymore, because his lips were quite literally sealed.

Anyone looking in on them at that moment, would definitely *not* see them as friends. Of course, the weather being as it was, only one person was watching them.

"Thanks for that gift, Santa. Even if it's a bit early." Mokuba giggled softly and went back to bed.

//Because I'll be with you// [Honda]

Somehow, he ended up at Otogi's apartment which was, as he had expected, deserted. Once he got there though, it felt wrong to leave. It also, he had to admit, felt wrong to stay. What was Otogi going to think of him when he'd return to find Honda waiting here?

But he was tired, and at least it was dry here. There even was a place to put his bike where it was protected from the wind and -more importantly- the wet snowflakes.

Sagging against Otogi's closed door, Honda felt like he could almost fall asleep, right her and now, to dream of a Christmas-dinner that was actually edible. One with people he genuinely liked, not relatives who pinched his cheeks and cooed about how much he'd grown (his aunt), or asked if he had *finally* gotten himself a girlfriend (his uncle).

"Honda? Is that you?" A voice that sounded remarkably much like Otogi's drifted down the hall.

"Yeah." He replied, trying to think of a good reason for his being here.

"Great." It *was* Otogi, who looked anything but pleased to see him. "I almost get myself killed by your parents when I go to your house to wish you a merry Christmas and you turn out to be right here."

Honda blinked. Otogi had visited his house? Otogi hadn't been to some Christmas-party? "S-sorry."

Otogi snorted, shaking his head. "Never mind, not your fault. Have you had dinner yet?"

"No." He seemed to be down to single-syllable answers.

"Good, neither have I." Otogi flashed him a grin, opening his door with a flourish. "Do come in, don't mind the mess. I hadn't expected any visitors."

Something in Otogi's eyes warned him the green-eyed boy was up to some sort of mischief, but he lacked the energy to look for it. Obediently stepping over the threshold, he had a moment's reprieve before Otogi leaned over and softly kissed him.

"There's mistletoe hanging from the ceiling." Otogi explained.

"I thought you said you weren't counting on anyone visitng you." Honda was somewhat surprised his voice sounded so steady.

Otogi shrugged. "I was just hoping for it. So, what kind of pizza would you like?"

~OWARI~