Warnings/notes : AU, Yami/Yugi, Seto/Joey, Otogi/Honda, possibly slight Bakura/Ryou, oocness.
Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.
written at 27th june 2004, by Misura
Thanks to Icy Flame (yes, Joey –is- on the right track, isn't he? Bakura and Malik … who can say?), Anime Crazed (the second actually, but that's fast too, isn't it?), Yana5, Sansi (hey! Gimme back my pictures! … Oh, well, you can keep them, I guess. My way of saying 'sorry'), The Chaotic Ones (yup, you're right about Honda. Bakura's in this chapter, briefly), Amarin Rose (everything and nothing will be explained this chapter), ChibiSerenity3 (yes, it is. Why wouldn't it?), Kiawna (good ones, bad ones, mediocre ones … yes), pixiestickchild, Killian (yes, I mean like ending, sorry), Kaira-chan (J is for 'Junior', of course. Poor P.J.), Reppu (alas, no, it can't be wrapped up and thus the ending is not a good one. Sorry), Seto-Kaiba's-fan, Star Light Shadow (three out of four isn't too bad, I hope), Amonae, WolfBane2 (you're not the only one –grins sadly-), VampssAmby10210, hAdOwCat (yes, this is the last chapter), pawikan (it's now or never, considering this is the last one), Alessa Embers (hm, sorry for not giving you a glimpse of Malik), FREAK014 (it's Rishid, little as knowing that means –coughs-), Ril, mandapandabug (actually, it's an AU, with some elements from the first season, yes. Sorry for confusing you), Flame Rhiannon (I'll ah do my best), hiei fan girl, Snow Angel (since Marik won't actually show up, he doesn't need to be paired. Sorry), DarkShadowFlame (erhm, yes, well, you see … I've no plans for a sequel. None. And the plot's unresolved at the end of this. I'm very sorry), Sharem (short reviews count too) and Darkest Aphelion (it doesn't quite merge back into canon, since it's inconsistent with some of the things in there, though some elements may make it look like that).
If it hadn't been for all of your reviews, I doubt if this fic would have gotten this far. So thank you all very much, one last time.
Chapter warning : rushedness, silliness, kissing
"Wow! You're really good at this!" Yugi smiled, in spite of just having lost yet another game. Yami found Yugi's attitude rather surprising. In his place, Yami'd have been thoroughly frustrated and galled at having lost so many times.
"Practice makes perfect," Yami shrugged. He wasn't really used to uttering comforting platitudes to opponents he'd beaten fair and square, yet somehow this time, it was different.
Perhaps because it was Yugi. Or simply because his opponent seemed completely unbothered by the crushing defeat he'd just been dealt.
Of course, since no one before Yugi had ever taken his loss at Yami's hands that easily, those two explanations were kind of the same.
"But being perfect doesn't necessarily make you happy, does it?" Yugi asked, his cheeks turning slightly red.
Yami raised one eyebrow.
"I mean, you've only practised this game so much on your own, because your parents weren't there and because you didn't have anyone to come over and play it with you. Or do something else than a computer-game." Yugi's nose wrinkled at the last word.
Yami looked at the clock. "I think that maybe you should be heading back home, before your grandfather starts to worry."
Yugi's blush deepened as he nodded and rose. "I ... didn't mean to pry."
"You didn't," Yami replied curtly. Which was true. Yugi hadn't 'pried' at all; Yami had simply told him most of what had made him so adept at computer-games.
They walked to the hall of the house in silence, with Yugi appearing to feel uncomfortable and guilty about his remark about perfection not always equalling hapiness, and Yami brooding if he ought to say something comforting and, if so, what.
"Thanks for inviting me over. I enjoyed today," Yugi offered hesitantly.
"In spite of me receiving you in boxers?" Yami teased, more than willing to allow the subject of their conversation to be changed.
"I ... you look ... pretty good in boxers." Yugi nearly choked on the words. Yami chuckled.
"Will you return the favor some time?" he asked, his tone still light.
"Return the favor?" Yugi blinked, confused. Before Yami could think of some other way to diplomatically phrase his question however, the meaning of Yami's words seemed to sink in. "Oh! I ... if you want to ... I mean ... "
"What -I- want has little to do with it," Yami snorted, somewhat relieved at Yugi's reaction. It could have been a little more positive but ... it also could have been a -lot- more negative.
"Ah," Yugi managed. "I probably should go now." He didn't move.
Yami bended forwards, brushing his lips very lightly over Yugi's cheek. The gesture was meant as much as some sort of comfort and reassurance to Yugi as a proof to Yami himself that he was able to do this. Able, and more than willing. "I'll see you again Monday."
Yugi was beet-red again as he walked to the door, then turned around.
"You could ... walk me home?"
Yami wondered why he hadn't thought of that himself.
Otogi decided that Lady Fortune had to think it was his birthday today. Or perhaps she simply felt like picking on his despicable and pick-worthy employer.
First, there had been that e-mail from Industrial Illusions, containing news that would, in the long run, free him from his financial dependence on the man, by promising him a quite neat salary for promotion-activities as soon as his game would be launched.
Then, Honda had dropped by, with a most ... interesting proposal, that would enable Otogi to move out and thus regain his complete independence. (Well, aside from Honda, of course, but Otogi was reasonably sure he could manage that. Especially considering Honda had already called him 'pretty', a sure sign that his famous charms were working on the brunet.)
"I could almost kiss you!" Otogi knew that perhaps he was reacting a bit overly ... exuberant, yet at the moment, he couldn't care less. If felt -good- to almost bounce while going to pack his bags and imagine the expression that would appear on his employer's face when Otogi told him he'd no longer be at the man's beck and call.
"I wouldn't mind," Honda grinned. It made him look rather attractive, Otogi noted with approval. Quite different from the sour and dull Honda he'd thought he knew.
"Tsk, tsk. Hasn't anyone ever told you I -never- make out on a first date?" Since Otogi lived by no such rule, he was pretty sure the answer to that was 'no'. But considering he was going to -live- with Honda, he saw no reason to rush things.
"We aren't on a date," Honda pointed out, quite logical. "Nor are we going to go on one any time soon, as far as I know."
Otogi shrugged. "You -were- going to ask me, weren't you? Consider this as a 'yes' in reply. Now, if you could give me some help with these bags ... "
Honda muttered something. Otogi chose to pretend he hadn't heard what.
Joey had to admit he was feeling just a teensy little bit nervous. All right, maybe more than that.
He was -very- nervous, but, judging by Otogi's cheerful greeting and Anzu's smile, doing a pretty neat job at hiding it. Seto hadn't shown up yet.
Which didn't help much.
His threat to ignore Seto for two full months wasn't really one he looked forward to make good on. Perhaps, Joey acknowledged, he shouldn't have uttered it, but then Seto probably wouldn't have changed -anything-, simply trying to get back to the routine of his life, with Joey as some sort of pet that followed him around all the time, yet never was allowed to touch him.
Joey might have -acted- like such a thing satisfied him, at least in Seto's perspective. It didn't though, and he wasn't about to allow Seto to downgrade their relationship to that level.
Still, if given the choice between that and nothing ...
One point for him: Seto had adressed him. Granted, by a slightly insulting nickname, but ...
"Seto." Joey managed not to grin. Or let his hands betray his uncertainty by making weird movements.
Another point: Seto didn't snap at him to call him 'Kaiba'.
"You asked me for a reason. I have one." Seto sounded like he was holding a lecture for school, rather than talking to his boyfriend-to-be. Joey wasn't sure what that indicated.
"Just one?" he flapped out.
Seto smirked. "It's a good one."
Joey cocked his head, rather curious. "Well, let's hear it then."
"I can't tell you," Seto informed him.
Joey blinked, then narrowed his eyes. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I can only show you," Seto continued.
Joey should have figured out what Seto was getting at by then.
Instead, he was taken completely by surprise as Seto kissed him, breaking away at exactly the moment Joey's brains caught up with what was going on and made some suggestions of things he could do to make his current position even more enjoyable.
Typical. Seto knew him much too well.
"Good enough?" Seto asked.
Joey snorted. "Not nearly, but I'm sure you'll learn."
He had to wink -and- grin to get it through to Seto that remark had been intended as a joke. Joey decided that he'd really need to work on Seto's sense of humor.
Ah well, at least he could kiss. That was a nice start.
Ryou sank down in the chair that bore the number that corresponded with the one on his ticket. He stared out of the window for a brief moment. On one hand, he felt sad to have to leave Domino before he'd gotten any chance to really get to know anyone there. On the other hand, he was looking forwards to seeing his father again, not to mention to be able to experience a real dig first-hand.
When someone came and sat in the chair next to him, Ryou at first hardly even noticed. Until a soft cough drew his attention, making him turn his head.
"Why, hello, Ryou. Fancy meeting you here," Bakura grinned. "It's a small world after all, don't you agree?"
OWARI (aka The End)
A/N : I am aware that certain matters could (and perhaps should) be described further, but ... I chose not to. I hope this ending hasn't disappointed any of you.