Trip to Fall

by Lethe Seraph

Chapter Eleven: There's a person waiting to be found

            -

            Rambling Notes that May be Skipped without Great Consequence

            Wow!  I mean, really.  Wow!

            Thank you all so much for the great feedback.  I'm amazed at how much you care.  It's people like you that keep me inspired.   ::heart::

(end sap)

            I hope that this chapter doesn't disappoint, and that you'll stick with it.  Maybe even drop a thought by when you're done. 

            My own opinion of this chapter?

            It sucks.

            I've never been one to write Just Fluffy Romantic Crap, and this comes pretty damn close to that invisible line.  (Wait, I haven't?  ::sweatdrops:: Well, there is a limit, even for me.  I'll try to throw in more humor next chapter, okay?)

            A special shout out today to Reppu, who was kind enough to look over the beginning draft of this chapter and help me through it.  It may suck, but it sucks better because of her.

            …That sounded strange.

            I think that this is the closest thing that I have ever written to … yeah.  Yeah.  Moving on … ::sweatdrops::  I think I should probably end this soon, but I'm not sure where or how … that's always a problem of mine.  Just look at Smile, right? ;;  In retrospect, it really didn't deserve as many chapters as it got …

            Heck, this could probably be the end of it, overlooking the whole 'but what does Kaiba think of Jou now?!' thing.

            I may hint at Stuff, but I will NOT write about it explicitly.  This will STAY PG-13 … I think … well, tell me if I really have crossed the line…

            Thank you again.  I can't enough.

            (I know, I know.  His towel is made of a new superstrength fabric devised by Kaiba Corp's home comfort branch.)

            -

            -

            "Nn …"

            Jonouchi closed his eyes slowly, reaching out to tangle his hands in soft silk.  Was it really Kaiba in front of him?  Kaiba, that damned jerk that he had hated so, that he had been so bitter and angry towards … was it really him?

            Everything about Kaiba was so soft – the silk of his shirt, delicate skin, smooth lips – so new to Jonouchi that it was hard to believe that he was really the same person.

            This … this is my first kiss, isn't it?

            My first real kiss, anyway. 

            For some reason, it just figured that it would be with Kaiba.  Life seemed to enjoy screwing Jou over…

            Jonouchi had thought that there was no ecstasy to be found, nothing that could be sweeter than that moment.  He had thought that he had experienced joy in its highest form, with the beginning of that kiss.

            Kaiba let out a small moan, and Jonouchi knew it. 

            -

            "Gah!" Jonouchi jerked awake sharply, his breathing rapid.  What … what had …?

            He blinked in the darkness, eyes adjusting slowly. 

            …A dream.

            Jou wasn't sure, though, whether he was relieved or not.

            Kaiba would never do that.  He would never relinquish even an ounce of control – would never let Jou flip him over like that –

            Would never …

            Wait a second.

            Where the hell was he?

            Then, suddenly, Jou was completely awake.

            Shit!  It wasn't a dream!

            He was in Kaiba's house, in nothing but a towel – how had he managed to keep it on? – and … lying on a rug?!

            Jou looked up.  There was an elegant four-poster bed, with a dusty green jacket draped carelessly over it: he was in the room that Kaiba had assigned to him.  What, hadn't he even managed to make it up to the bed?

            Apparently not.

            Finally, a memory surfaced.  Stumbling through hallways, trying to keep as close to the other as humanly possible while still moving – the faint taste of cinnamon-

            -then losing balance ….

            Had he been the one to finally trip?

            "…Jou?"

            That was when he realized that Kaiba was lying right next to him.

            Jeez.  How dense can you be at three in the morning?

            Jou met Kaiba's sleepy gaze and smiled despite himself.  "Nothing, Kaiba.  Go back to sleep."

            "…Okay…" murmured the teen, seeming inexplicably younger than his years.  His eyes slipped shut again.

            He ruffled Kaiba's hair.  Would the other remember what had transpired this past night?  Would he want to remember, when he was in his right mind again?

            Best not to think about that now.  As it was, he wasn't really sure whether he wanted Kaiba to want to remember.

            What would his friends think, after all?

            He stretched and stood, careful not to disturb Kaiba – he needed his sleep – and was halfway into the bed before he paused.

            He sighed.

            Damn, why do I have to be so nice?

            Jonouchi got back up and stepped carefully back over to where his host had lain, finding a slim shoulder with his toes.  The thin sliver of moonlight trickling through the curtains was hardly strong enough to aid him.

            The silvery light.

School.

            It was night; glowing threads of moonlight touched upon the other's slim frame, but his face was hidden.

            Do I know you?

            The figure stepped forward silently, and was illuminated.

            Why are you here?

            I know you.

            Familiar.

           

            At least there was one benefit to the CEO's irregular eating schedule, thought Jonouchi as he hefted the boy into his arms.  He was as light as his brother, if not lighter.  "Here we go…" he whispered, feeling like some sort of prince.

            Princess Kaiba.  Wouldn't that be lovely?

            His brother had already fit the act quite nicely, ha ha.  Maybe it was hereditary. 

            Jou made his way to the bed, trying to keep it slow.  Wouldn't do well to bash Kaiba's head in, now, would it?

            How things had changed over these past few days?  He could hardly remember.

            But …

            … would they return to normal?

            That remained to be seen.

            -

            He was awakened by a yell and unceremonious shove out of the bed.

            "Jonouchi!?  What the hell?!"

            Kaiba clutched the indigo sheets to him, staring down at Jonouchi with a mixture of shock and horror.  He looked like a girl.  Jou would have snickered, had he not just been awakened by a yell and unceremonious shove out of the bed.

            "Oi!" Jonouchi rubbed his eyes with a wide yawn.  "Don't you know it's rude to push your lover out of the bed?"

            "Lo- lo-"  My, but Kaiba was out of sorts this morning.  Jonouchi grinned up at him. 

            "Yes….?" drawled Jou cheerfully.  He loved yanking Kaiba's chain.  …Heh.  Chain.

            "We didn't … didn't …" Kaiba made a few helpless gestures towards himself, Jou, and the bed.  He then managed to compose himself somewhat.  "Please tell me that we did not-"
            "What, have sex?" said Jou, laughing at the look his blunt question brought to Kaiba's face.

            After a long moment in which Kaiba began to tremble like there was no tomorrow, Jou finally answered.  "Heh.  No.  What do you remember?"

            "…Remember?" said Kaiba.

            Hmm.

            "About what we did last night?"

            There was that look again.  "I thought you said we didn't-"

            Strange, how awkward and … puppylike … the great Seto Kaiba could seem.  Lost, even.  This was not his field of expertise, and he knew it.

            For once, Jonouchi had the upper hand.  He was going to savor it.

            "No," said Jou slyly, "but we did…"

            "We did what?" demanded Kaiba, a hint of the old commanding tone creeping back into his voice.

            "Well, look at the time," said Jou.  He grinned widely.  "We'd better hurry if we want to make it to school on time, huh?"

            "Wha-"  Kaiba glanced at the wall clock, cursed, and flung the sheets from him.  He began to get up-

            -and that was when Jonouchi pounced.

            "Hey!  Get off-"

            "I thought you wanted to know what we did," said Jonouchi, lying stomach-down on Kaiba's chest.  His face was but an inch from Kaiba's own.

            "We…" whispered Kaiba.  "That wasn't a dream…?"

            "Nope.  I'm hurt you thought so."  Jou was feeling playful now.  It was as though he had consumed six cups of coffee, a Snickers bar, and then some.  It would have scared him, had he been a more logical person.  But, no, he was Jou.  He leaned down and proceeded to chew on Kaiba's ear.

            "What kind of crack are you on, mutt?"

            "Well, I'm on you.  You're pretty addictive, too.  What kind of soap is that?  I didn't smell it in the bathroom I went to."

            "…And why are you acting like we're friendly all of a sudden?" added Kaiba, unmoving.

            "You kissed me," said Jonouchi, shrugging.  His motion caused Kaiba to make a small noise, which in turn made Jou grin.  "Hey, are you ticklish?"

              The brunette's back arched as he attempted to force Jonouchi off of him.  "No!  No, I'm not.  If you try, I shall bring the wrath of Kaiba Corp down on- no!  Stop!"

            Jonouchi had grabbed the front of Kaiba's shirt, swiftly undoing its buttons.  "The better to tickle you without," he joked as the shirt found itself being tossed to the other side of the room.  Ungrateful kids.

            "Jonou-!  Not – not there-!"

A small, grinning face peeked into the doorway, unnoticed.

Good for Seto.

It disappeared as quickly as it had come.

-

"Honda?"

"Hm?"  Honda looked up from the homework he hadn't finished and grinned.  "Morning, Yuug .  What's up?"

"Do you think Jou is sick?"  said Yugi with concern.  "He should be here by now, right?"

Honda nodded.  "Yeah.  He looked fine yesterday.  I would bet that, yeah, he's sick.  Or skipping."

"He wouldn't," dismissed Yugi.  "I hope he's okay."

"Me too.  Heh.  Too bad for him.  That assignment was due today, too… he's screwed."

            "Did I miss something?" said Anzu as she arrived, raising an eyebrow.  "Who's done what now?"

            "Although, come to think of it, it could be a possibility…" continued Honda with a grin.

            "Honda!  Stop that!" Yugi hit Honda's shoulder, his small fist hardly wrinkling Honda's uniform.  He pouted, opting to then cross his arms.

            He was just too cute.

            Honda patted the top of Yugi's head.  "All right, all right.  But haven't you noticed?  Kaiba's not here either."

            "But what would that have to do with… oh.  Oh…"

            Anzu had seemingly grasped the thread of the conversation as she added her own comment.  "Well, he could be at a business meeting."

            "That's no fun," said Honda.  "C'mon.  Don't you remember that dream Jou was having?"

            "You have a point…" mumbled Yugi thoughtfully.  "And I remember a few days ago, I saw him really close to … but that's got to just be a coincidence or something."

            "You don't think that Jou is actually…?"

            They burst into giggles.

            That, of course, was when Jou burst into the room, making his appearance as flamboyantly as ever.  "Hey, guys!  What's up?"

            That just made them laugh harder.

            "…What's so funny?" he said.  At that moment, Kaiba entered, brushing past Jou to his desk.

            The bell rang.

            "Nothing, nothing!" said Anzu.  "Come on and sit down."  She shot a warning glare to Yugi and Honda, who were still snickering.

            Their teacher coughed, and the class was silent.  "I trust you all completed your assignment…?"

            The look on Jou's face was priceless.

            "Oh, shit!"

            "Jonouchi!"

            "I swear, I did it, but…!"

            "That's no excuse for such… into the hallway!  Now!"

            "But-"

            "I said now, Jonouchi!"

            The silence was broken as Jonouchi made his way dejectedly out of the classroom, students' laughter following him. 

            Honda, in that moment of uproar, stole a glance at Seto Kaiba.

            He was almost chuckling.