Two princesses, a CEO and a dog

*

Warnings/notes : Mokuba/Shizuka, Seto/Joey, slightly silly, slight hints at other pairings.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. This plot is slightly similar to the one I used for 'The mutt and the butterfly' but I hope the similarities won't bother anyone. ^^;

written at 29th october 2003, by Misura

For Riah-chan, who asked for Mokuba/Shizuka and the line "What are our brothers going to think of this?". :)

**********

the CEO and the princess

It probably wouldn't surprise anyone to hear that Seto Kaiba did not, in general, like going to parties. Especially not parties at which the guests would be people like Yugi Mutoh and his friends. Nonetheless, Mokuba had set it in his head that Seto would attend this particular one. And what Mokuba wanted, he usually got.

"Absolutely not. I refuse to waste a night in some silly costume, pretending to have fun." Seto glared at Mokuba, who smiled back sweetly. "I have much more important things to do. At least three projects need to be finished within the next two weeks."

"But Seto," Mokuba replied, "you promised that you'd work less. And no one needs to know it's you. That's the fun of a dress-up party."

"Who says I care about whether or not people know it's me?" Seto demanded. "I'm simply too busy."

"Come on, Seto. It'll be such fun!" Mokuba gave his older brother a weak version of the puppy eyes, saving the real thing for later. "I'd almost think you were *scared* to go," he added slyly.

"I'm *not* afraid of that mutt! He means nothing to me!" Seto burst out. Mokuba managed not to smirk. Not too much anyway.

"Oh? Joey is coming too? I didn't know that," Mokuba stated innocently.

Seto opened his mouth, closed it again and finally settled for : "Of course he'll be there. He's always following Yugi around. Plus, he'll want to keep an eye on his precious sister."

"Uh-huh." Mokuba nodded. "You're probably right. So I guess you'd better be careful who you'll ask for a dance, hadn't you? You might end up dancing with Joey all night without either of you realizing it."

Seto looked pensive at that, apparently not yet having considered that possibility. Mokuba grinned. The odds of convincing Seto to agree to go to the party with him seemed to have become pretty good. And he hadn't even had to use his 'secret' weapon yet ...

"I suppose one night wouldn't make that much of a difference. If it means so much to you ... " Seto said finally, still with the slight frown of a person who knows he has been shamelessly manipulated but can't quite figure out how.

*****

It had been ridiculously easy to spot the mutt. He was wearing a dog-suit, the same one Otogi had forced him to wear once. Seto thought it was a stupid choice, but that was Joey for you. The blonde probably hadn't even considered if wearing such a costume to an occasion like this one would be practical. Likely, he was deeply regretting it now, with the party getting rather crowded, causing the temperature in the room rising over what Seto would term 'comfortably warm'.

The rest of Yugi's friends was equally easy to find, some of them not even having bothered with a costume to hide their identity. At least, Seto wouldn't really call the two pieces of clothing that allowed Malik Ishtar to claim he wasn't 'illegally indecent' much of a costume.

The platinum-haired Egyptian was dancing with what appeared to be Ryou Bakura, the most quiet and thus least annoying member of Yugi's little group. He was wearing his normal, day-to-day garb. Perhaps he was in the disguise of a 'shy teenage-student' or something.

Next to swirl past were Ryuuji Otogi, decked out like some sort of elf, complete with quiver and bow, and Honda Hiroto, who looked distinctly uncomfortable in his costume of a rogue. Or perhaps, Seto mused wryly, it was the way Otogi kept getting all over him that made him squirm so much. The fool should have known better than to go anywhere with Otogi if he was so shy.

Anzu Mazaki was dressed up as a dancer, her partner causing Seto to blink once, before checking the person who was with Malik once again. They looked exactly identical, with the same long, white hair, the same color of shirt ... Seto decided that one of them had to be wearing some sort of mask.

Yugi himself was dressed up in some sort of slave-costume, a bit less revealing than Malik's, but rather daring just the same. He was accompanied by that distant cousin of his, who had turned up a few months ago and seemed to have no intention of leaving any day soon. Seto liked Yami even less than Yugi, especially because of the arrogant glares the boy sent his way ever so often, as if he considered himself to be better than Seto.

Yami was dressed like an ancient Pharaoh, with golden bracelets and a fitting head-dress. Seto supposed it suited both his character and went nicely with Yugi's own costume, although the general impression presented by the pair of them was more that of two lovers than two relatives. Still, that was Yugi's problem, not his.

The only person he didn't manage to discover right away was the mutt's sister, Shizuka or something. Maybe she hadn't come after all. No matter, it wasn't as if Seto cared. He hardly even knew what the girl looked like.

Mokuba had found someone to dance with soon enough, after Seto had assured him that he himself didn't have the least objection to being left alone. He was glad Mokuba had something on his hands now, other than trying to get him to enjoy himself. The kid meant well, of course, which was why Seto put up with it, but it was somewhat annoying just the same.

At least one advantage of a masked ball was that nobody wanted to dance with either of them because of who or what they were (namely, the very, very rich Kaiba-brothers). It had to be one of Mokuba's reasons for wanting to go here so badly, while he abhorred the business-parties Seto was obliged to visit every now and then.

Draining the last of the fruit-juice in his glass, Seto began to slowly make his way to where the mutt was standing, leaning against the wall with a slightly melancholic expression on his face. It was an unusual sight to see the blonde without his usual goofy smile or a sparkle in his eyes.

In fact, Joey didn't even look up at Seto's approach. It might have been simply not hearing him, but somehow, Seto doubted that. It seemed the mutt wasn't in the mood to party, in spite of the presence of a richly filled buffet of free food.

Ah well, Seto wasn't in much of a partying mood either. Though it might be nice to dance a bit, to feel what it was like to hold Joey, to press their bodies closer together under the safe excuse of a tango or waltz. And it could never hurt to ask, could it? He had nothing to lose except for a bit of pride.

"Would you like to dance?" His voice was clear, untrembling. Good.

Joey's head rose slowly, his honey-brown eyes taking in Seto's costume with a hint of suspicion, before the blonde shrugged.

"Why not? As long as you don't suck my blood."

~to be concluded in the second part~

A/N : Yes, Seto's costume is that of a vampire, classy and stylish. It just seemed to fit him. -_-;