Title: Nature Special
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Go-Oh or it's characters.
Summary: Dogs who love cats, and cats who love dogs. Hard to find, but worth the look.
Author's Notes: This is a response to The Dragon Lair's Spring First time challenge. It's set in the future, so I took some liberties with character. While not friends exactly, I figure Kaiba is as much a part of the group as anyone and that Joey would learn to deal with him. Okay? Well hope this is well received.
The blond glared at the girl as he petted the cat again. "Kira, you promised it was the last time."
"I know, but I really promise this time. Please? You know the dogs like you better!" Kira pleaded. "There's a guy here who really wants one of our dogs. Come on! You're always so good at matching people with their pets!"
Joey frowned at the girl. "Yeah, which is why they let me CHOOSE my assignment. I like the cats."
"Joey!" Kira cried."Look the guy is really rich, and he could bring in a lot of donations. Please just this once?"
Joey growled. "I hate it when you pull this. You know I can't resist." He paused. "Make sure this guy gets all his shots, and give him a flea dip, I don't want the others infested again."
Kira smiled. "Then you'll do it? Thank you! You're the best!" Kira hugged him. "He's waiting in the lobby. Don't worry I'll watch the kitties for you!"
Joey sighed as he removed the lab coat and made his way to the lobby. He'd spent the last four years working his way up the social ladder at this shelter just so he could work with the cats. "What is it with people that make them think I'm a dog person?" He grumbled quietly. "Just because they go gaga over me doesn't mean I like them." He wondered who this big shot could be that would make Kira freak enough to break her fourth solemn vow not to involve him in the dogs again. Shoving aside his own problems, he pasted on a smile for the customer. After all it wasn't every day that the rich pick their pets from what most considered the rejected animals. "Hi, I'm Joey, I hear you're looking for a dog?"
The tall brunette jolted a little at his voice and turned with a smirk plastered on his face. "Is that an offer Mutt?"
Joey groaned. "Kaiba, what the heck are you doing here? Figured you for one of those purebred types." Joey frowned as he eyed his former nemesis. "Actually, I really figured you as a cat guy."
Kaiba scowled at him. "Mokuba requested a pet."
"Ah, now that makes sense." Joey said with a grin. "Still don't explain what your doing here."
"Would you rather I left?" Kaiba growled.
"No, not really, this place needs all the friends it can get in high places." Joey said hurriedly, wincing internally. 'Stupid! think about the animals, not about your old grudges.' "Look, sorry, the dogs are back here. Were you looking for any in particular?"
Kaiba smirked again. "Yes, a blond one."
Joey rolled his eyes. "Very funny, but seriously, a big dog, little, gentle, guard or what? Some specifics would be appreciated. I don't what you dragging the poor thing back here in a week just because you didn't remember that black clashed with your walls."
Kaiba raised an eyebrow. "Actually it wouldn't, has that happened before?"
Joey's eyes hardened. "More times than I like to think about."
Kaiba sighed. "What I want is a fairly gentle, playful puppy that Mokuba can have fun with, it doesn't matter if it's big or small, though big might be better since Mokuba has grown quite a lot. One that does not have a tendency to bite, that would be protective, but not overtly aggressive."
Joey nodded. "Yeah, I think I understand. We have a few that might suit you, let me get them." Joey opened the kennel door only to find Kaiba holding his arm. "What?"
"What are you doing here?"
"I thought was finding you a dog." Joey said sarcastically.
Kaiba grinned. "Well seems I already got one here. But seriously didn't you get an animal science degree?"
Stunned Joey gapped up at him. "How'd you hear about that?"
Kaiba grimaced. "Mouto likes to keep in contact."
Joey grinned. "Yeah Yug's cool like that. Why am I here?" Joey shrugged. "It's a cool place to work, and I like sending the strays home with guys like you, that good enough? Can I go find you a dog now?"
Kaiba released his arm. "By all means, find me a dog mutt."
With a scowl Joey glared at him and slammed into the kennel, immediately the dogs started a joyful barking. Kaiba smirked. "I see they recognize their own kind."
Joey came back in leading three puppies and glared again. "I heard that." Kaiba just smiled. "Anyway, this one's Kesha, she's a Keeshond/Husky cross, sweet temperament and very playful. She'll get about twice this size when she's a full adult, big but not too big." Joey explained flopping down to the floor to pet the brown and gray puppy tearing to get into his lap. With a gentle shove he knocked her off and picked up the black one. "This is Morris, he's a Newfoundland they get real big, but are great With children, he's a bit of a prankster, but a lovable one." Joey said calmly pulling his shirt out of the dogs mouth. "And this is Sophie, she part golden revertier and god knows what else. Her mom got knocked up by a stray and the owner didn't want the mutts. Goldies, in general are real playful, and great With kids but Sophie tends to be a bit shy With people." He finished as the puppy tried to hide in Joey's lap. "So, any of them suit you?"
Kaiba watched Morris chase the yipping Kesha around the small room before sliding on the carpet and running into the wall. He laughed. "Is he always like that?"
Joey glanced up from petting Sophie. "Huh? Oh Morris, yeah pretty much, he doesn't get a chance to run much back in the kennels." As Kaiba continued to watch the two playing Sophie crept out of Joey's lap and sniffed Kaiba's leg. "Wow, Sophie likes you, that's the first time I've seen her take to anyone."
Kaiba glanced down at the blond dog happily sitting down next to him wagging her tag. "She is kind of cute, but I think Morris would be better for Mokuba."
Joey's face fell, "Oh, right, I forgot." He put on his professional smile. "So you've decided then?"
Kaiba continued to stare down at Sophie. "Yes, I'll take Morris. Is there anyway I can leave him here and have him delivered to the mansion Friday? It's a birthday present."
Joey frowned. "Well we don't usually, but..."
Kaiba smiled wryly. "Yes I'll be donating come spring."
"Yeah, I guess we could. I'll work it out With the management." Joey sighed. "I'll put them back, then we can fill out the paperwork, get the license and everything." As he gathered up the squirming animals Sophie let out a yip and struggled to free herself.
Well Joey was well out of earshot Kaiba sighed. 'I always did have a thing for blond puppies, maybe Mokuba wouldn't mind two....'
Friday found Joey sighing as he fed the cats. Kira joined him and frowned. "What's up With you? Aren't you the least bit excited? Kaiba donated a lot of money, that means the animals have a much longer grace period now."
"It's nothing, hey is Morris all set to go to his new home now?"
Kira grinned. "Yup, and not a moment to soon! I'm running out of shirts. Oh! I meant to tell you Sophie's gone."
Joey nearly dropped the bowl he was holding. "What? But she had another week at least!"
Kira laughed. "Not like that, idiot! She got adopted!"
"Oh." Joey sighed. He smiled weakly. "Sorry, kind of freaked there. That's great, she's deserves it."
Kira studied him. "You were gonna take her weren't you?"
Joey rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I was. I know, the cats would have had a fit."
Kira laughed. "Probably, but maybe not, they're your cats after all." She leaned on the counter. "What was it about Sophie that got to you? You've seen dozens of dogs working here and never wanted to take one before." She grinned. "Despite my pleading."
Joey spared the girl an annoyed glance. "I'm not a dog person, I keep telling you that. Sophie was just different. She, well she kind of reminded me of me." He smiled sheepishly, then he glared. "Your supposed to laugh now."
"Sorry Joe, but I have to agree With you." She held up her hands. "Peace! I've said it before but I really think you're a dog."
Joey choked. "Must you put it like that! I know you have this fascination With matching people With animals, but I AM NOT A DOG!"
Kira winced."Right, I forgot that was a sore spot With you, but I call them like I see them. Oh! And that rich guy who's taking Morris? He's defiantly a cat." She left shaking her head. "Just don't get it, a dog wanting cats, and a cat wanting dogs."
Joey glared at the swinging door before sighing. "She's nuts." He picked up a brown kitten. "A cat wanting a dog huh? There's a nature special I'd like to see."
Joey sighed as he pulled Morris away from yet another hydrant. 'What was I thinking? Why did I practically beg Kira to let me take Morris over?' Shaking off his thoughts he tugged to leash. "Come on pup, it's a long walk still and you've got an owner to meet."
Fidgeting on the doorstep Joey finally rang the bell, when Kaiba opened the door he blurted out, "Sophie was adopted." He frowned. "I just thought you'd want to know. Uh, Kesha got a new home too, um, yeah, so here's Morris." He handed the leash over, blushing slightly.
"I didn't expect you to deliver him personally. Well you might as well come in, Mokuba will be glad to see you, and you can see him With his new pet." Kaiba said standing aside.
Joey faltered. "Oh, uh, okay. I guess I could stay for a little while. Max and Loki can have a late dinner for once."
Kaiba raised an eyebrow. "Roommates?"
"Kind of, they're my cats."
Kaiba stared at Joey for a full minute. "You have cats? I figured you would surround yourself With your own kind."
Joey sighed. "Must you keep on With the dog jokes? I mean we've been out of high school for what six years now? It's not like we're total enemies anymore. God I invited you to my twenty-first birthday blast for heaven sake! Not like you came but the intent was there."
Kaiba stared at Joey With an unreadable expression. "But you are a dog."
"Fine. I'm a dog. Between you and Kira I give up. I still prefer cats." Joey grumbled.
"Joey!" Mokuba called coming out of the living room. "What are you doing here? My party's not till tomorrow." Just then he spotted the wiggling mass of black fur. "Seto! You got him! You got me a puppy!" He cried. Seto set the puppy down and he ran for Mokuba and tackled his legs. Mokuba dropped to the floor, grabbing the puppy and wrestling With it. "He's perfect! Thank you so much!" He scrabbled up and hugged Seto, his head reaching his brother's shoulders by now. "This is great! I can take him With me to college next year and I won't have to be as lonely!"
Joey grinned. "His name's Morris and be careful, he has a habit of chewing clothing."
Mokuba grinned back. "Thanks for the warning. Come on Morris, I'll show you the house."
Still grinning Joey turned to Kaiba. "He really seemed to like him, which is good seeing as I got him a bunch of dog toys for his birthday. What?"
Kaiba shook his head. "It's nothing really." Suddenly there was joyful yipping and a blond fur ball barreled into the room and jumped toward Joey.
"Sophie?" Joey goggled. He looked at Kaiba. "You took her?"
Kaiba picked up the puppy who proceeded to lick his face. "I have deep set liking for blond puppies. Besides she looked so hopeful."
Joey stared at him. "You like dogs. Blond dogs?"
Kaiba glared at him. "Your point?"
Joey's face relaxed into a grin. "You're a cat. But you like dogs."
"And you're a dog. Who likes cats." Kaiba retorted.
Joey moved closer, and plucked the puppy from Kaiba's arms placing her on the floor. "Yeah, I like cats. In fact I love cats."
Kaiba licked his lips. "Really?"
Joey kept his eyes locked on Kaiba's. "Uh-huh. Always did have a thing for them. So sleek and graceful. With those 'go-to-hell' attitudes. After all who doesn't like a challenge?"
Getting into the spirit, Kaiba raised his hand to Joey's face. "Ah, but dogs are loyal, and obedient. Protective. And so easily accepting of affection, as small as it may be, never asking for more. It makes them infinitely lovable."
Joey slid his hand threw Kaiba's hair. "Cat's have the softest fur, and loved to be stoked."
Kaiba murmured in approval, before responding. "Dogs can have soft fur too you know, and they demonstrate their affection, unlike cats who wait for you to come to them."
Joey grinned. "Yeah dogs do have their good points, you always know where you stand With them. And they have wonderful tongues." With this comment he licked Kaiba's neck, then bit it softly. "But they bite."
Kaiba growled. "So do cats. And cats tend to be more apt to attacking." With this he swooped down and kissed Joey, biting his lower lip till his mouth opened and sliding his tongue in. Joey gasped then groaned as Kaiba pushed him backward on the couch, following him close behind. Letting up for air, Kaiba looked down at Joey With glittering eyes. "And cats are patient, they tend to wait out their prey."
Joey grinned up at him. "Oh yeah, and cats tend to plan ahead, unlike dogs who leap before they look."
Kaiba grinned back. "Yes, that's one of the reasons I like them. I never know what they'll do next, and it's always fascinating finding out."
Joey bucked up and flipped Kaiba over till he straddled him. "Unpredictable, that's a dog for you. But we never stray from home, at least not for long, and we always come back."
Kaiba pulled Joey down to meet him. "That's what I was counting on."
Joey's last coherent thought was that he didn't need to see that nature special after all, who wants to see it when they can live it?