Trip to Fall

by Lethe Seraph

Chapter One: Pay attention

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            Yes!  I am returning once again to the beloved realm of Jou/Seto shounen-ainess.  ::huggles:: I just can't resist. ^_^;;

            I hope that this fic, erm, piques your interest.  It's rather short, but the next chapter might be better. ^_^;;

            Please read, and upon completion of the first request, review! ^^

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            The bell rang, and he couldn't help but sigh a loud and relieved sigh.  It had been the longest Friday in his life to date.  He was looking forward to getting home and doing nothing for a good, solid forty-eight hours.

            He was so productive over the weekends; he couldn't help but be proud of himself.

            Jonouchi slung his backpack casually over his shoulder and made his way out of the classroom, joining the growing throng of teenagers.  As he moved with the current, he scanned the crowd for a familiar, small, tricolored head.

            Nope.  Not there, not there, not there… He sighed again.  Too bad.  Not that it mattered – he was going to sleep over at Yugi's tonight, along with Honda.  Maybe they would get to watch the video that he had lent to Yugi a while back.

            Not that they would be able to sleep peacefully after that.  But still, it was a thought.

            Yes, he did think.  Some people don't seem to believe that, he thought with a dark undercurrent aimed towards Seto Kaiba, wherever he might be, bless his shriveled-up, coal-black, hell-bound heart.  Just today, the idiot CEO had insulted him – again.  Without provocation, excepting his innocuous comment regarding Kaiba's lack of any social or sexual life in any way, shape or form.  Why would he take offense at that?  And Kaiba hadn't even been original in his retort!  Yadda, yadda, puppies shouldn't insult their masters, yadda yadda yadda.  Same old, same old.

            He gave a third sigh and hitched his backpack higher on his shoulders as he shuffled through the crowd.  And Kaiba was supposed to be the smartest person in the school, huh?

            Sunlight! 

            Jonouchi had finally passed back into the realm of the living.  He grinned and took in his surroundings: colorful trees, green grass, blue sky, and the smell of apple pie!  Yes, it was truly autumn.  Jonouchi loved the feel that fall gave.  He couldn't explain it, but it made him feel a bit better about life in general.  It was like everything was trying to make its best impression on the world before it died off when winter came.  Especially the trees.  They were striking in their vibrancy, colors flaring under the golden sunlight.

            Speaking of colorful…

            "Oi!  Yugi!" he yelled happily, waving his arm back and forth.  The small boy turned and, when he recognized Jou, burst into one of his trademark beaming grins.  It was like he was totally thrilled that Jonouchi was there, and in truth, he probably was.  But damn!  The kid smiled so openly it would have been hard for Jonouchi not to smile in return.           

            Jou grinned and waved again.

            Unfortunately, while he had been doing so, he had forgotten to stop walking.

            -

            He ran through the list in his head one more time for good measure.

            First, find the limousine driver.  Upon finding, berate for being late and not having the sense to show up right in front of the school, on time.  If no proper reason, subservient apology, or halfway creative excuse is given, fire on the spot and call the backup driver.

            Second, go home.  Work on program, taking a quick break to greet Mokuba.  Ask Mokuba if he has homework, and suggest that he gets to it.  Remind Mokuba that he has an Open House night at school. 

            Third, continue work on program…

            Kaiba nodded slightly to himself.  Simple.  With any luck, the coding would be done by Saturday, at which point he could test the program in his new disk system, work out the bugs, and prepare it for mass market release.  Which reminded him; he had a press conference of some sort on Sunday…

            Where's the driver?

            Damn it, thought Kaiba vaguely, walking forward in an attempt to catch sight of his limo over the crowd.

            Then, before he knew it, his thoughts were interrupted by an annoying blond fluffhead commonly referred to as Katsuya Jonouchi.

            -

            "Ooof!" cried Jonouchi, tripping over a loose block of sidewalk.  He felt, for a moment, as though time had slowed down; his arms were windmilling slowly in a futile attempt to regain his balance, and with it, a piece of his dignity.

            But, no, it was too late.

            Time sped up.

            He found that he had not actually fallen down.  Nay, he had managed to grab onto something.  Something… tall.  And silky.  And…

            -

            Kaiba looked down.  There was currently a Jou hanging on him, hands clutching Kaiba's shoulders for dear life.  What should I do now? he mused.  He had a variety of choices – he could shove Jou to the ground, yell at him for being a clumsy mutt, walk away briskly, glare at him, or ask him if he was all right and would he kindly get the hell off now before Kaiba hit him upside the head with his suitcase.

            That last one was tempting.

            -

            Jonouchi looked up.  Slowly, his brain connected the pieces.

            He had tripped.

            And grabbed onto Kaiba's shoulders so as not to make contact with the ground.

            Perhaps it would have been better if he had fallen headfirst from the second story of the school and made contact with a rosebush.