The Experiment

Authors: Moonchild DJ and Ozark the MoonHead

Disclaimer: We don't own Yu-Gi-Oh, it's © of Kazuki Takahashi. But maybe it we stole it….

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Ozark: Hallo peeps! ^^ We hope you enjoy this chapter muchness! ^^ We came up with this kawaii idea, we did! *Giggles* And as long as we keep RPing this idea, you'll keep seeing chappies!

WARNING: CONTAINS MILD LEMONS OF YAOI CONTENT!! IF YOU ARE OPPOSED OR DO NOT LIKE THIS, DO *NOT* READ THIS!

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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There was lots of flashing lights, but that was about all he knew as he was suddenly grabbed, and rushed from the room. He was taken from his 'home' in the white room, whimpering faintly as the person that had grabbed him from there hadn't been too gentle. What was going on? Where were the people with glass and white coats? He yelped faintly was he was forced into some sort of rectangular prison, the only source of light coming from a hole in his mini-prison. His ears fell back as he was tossed around, hiding in a corner as his tail fell between his legs.

He couldn't understand what was happening. The last thing he could recall was the door being forced open by an explosion, and people falling down everywhere... Another sharp yelp fell from his lips as he was tossed roughly in his box onto some sort of surface. What sounded like a car door snapping shut was heard, before the revving of a car as sirens suddenly blared loudly. He ducked his head, covering his ears with his small hands as the vehicle took off with amazing speed, nearly tossing him from one side of the box to another. "Yipe!" he cried as it felt like they'd broken through something big and metal, before the sound of cap guns going off forced him to cower as close to the back of the box as he could. It didn't help, however, because it seemed that every time he got his footing, he was tossed to another part of the box when the car swerved. He could hear so many sounds, so many people yelling... CRASH! Something happened to the car that he was held prisoner in. Most likely the driver had been shot and crashed the car, but whatever the case, the little bundle's cage was forced from the car as it hit the cold, wet pavement and tumbled for some time. He gave a faint whimper as he finally came to a stop, gold eyes peeking from the peek-a-boo hole in the box. He could see big figures rushing to was looked like a smoking monster in his eyes... Turning around to find his prison open, he quickly scampered from it as quickly as he could, running off into the dark, wet night.

Tired, wet, and exhausted, the tiny creature found itself at a large, metallic gate. He'd be safe in there, he thought as he slipped easily between the bars. He limped up the long driveway, for he had twisted his ankle while running. He arrived there soon, whimpering as he pawed at the door. He doubted anyone would hear him over the loud, scary lightning... Giving up after waiting for twenty or so minutes, he looked around for anything to find warmth or safety in. His savior came in the form of an old, cardboard box that had probably once held oranges or some kind of fruit, and was going to be recycled. He crawled over, climbing into it with a faint whine and slumping to the bottom of it. There, he fell asleep.

*The Next Day*

"Niisama!" Mokuba called as he put on his shoes. "Hurry up! You promised you'd take me to Domino Park!" he called. His brother was such a slow poke, sometimes!

"You have no patience, little brother." Seto called back with amusement as he hurriedly saved his work on his laptop, brushing a hand over his eyes, as he stood, finishing up the last of his semi-cold coffee as he closed his computer down. "The park's not going anywhere, after all, what's the rush?" he continued as he headed out of the room to the ebony-haired boy.

"You promised you'd take me last time, and right before we could go, you got a phone call and had to leave, remember?" he sighed as he finished doing up his shoe.

The older brunette sighed, his blue eyes looking guilty as he made his way to Mokuba and hugged him gently with one arm, kissing the top of his head. "I'm sorry...you know I don't mean to break promises to you, Mokuba..." he replied softly. "It's the last thing I want to do."

"Which is why you're leaving your cell phone and pager home, right?" he said.

"..." Seto paused, then worked up his will. He was the CEO of his company, and regardless of what the board thought, they didn't need him 24-7. He could do without to spend time with his brother. "Hai." he replied gently. "Cell is with the laptop, and the pager..." He paused again, took his trench coat from where it hung on its place on the coat rack, and fished into its pocket, drawing out the device, which he also set aside. "...Is there. See? No distractions."

"Good!" He smiled happily, taking his brother's hand. "C'mon! We'll have a blast!"

He slipped into the coat, pulling the violet-blue collar up slightly as he slid on his shoes and nodded, squeezing Mokuba's hand lightly. "Alright, then...lead the way."

"Hai!" he grinned, opening the door and calling from his brother to hurry up as he went to gather the boxes they had to drop off at the dump, first. "Hurry, Niisama!" he grinned.

"Right behind you." Seto replied with a quiet, amused chuckle as he followed his brother and closed the door behind him.

Mokuba had already started to pick up hi first box, when he blinked at how heavy it was. "Nani...?" He was sure all the boxes were empty yesterday...! He opened the box, eyes going wide. "Niisama!! Niisama, come quick!" he called.

"Hmm.?" He blinked at his brother's excitement and headed over to the younger boy "Mokuba, what is it...?"

"Look, Niisama...!" he said as he pointed to the box.

Inside was what looked like a young child, probably about six or seven. He had messy blonde hair, cream colored skin and...Brown puppy ears?! He had a small, cute little tail and wore only a brown, skirt-ish material the same color as his furry dog-ears and tail.

Seto's eyes widened this time as he stared at the...puppy...?...child...?, gasping softly. "What in the world...?" he replied softly.

The little cherub was completely soak, shivering faintly and looking quite cold as Mokuba gazed at it. "Wow... It-it's like...one of the inujins you'd see in cartoons...!" he breathed as he looked back to Seto.

"You mean one of those creatures in those anime cartoons...?" the brunette murmured. "But such things don't exist in the real world...well...they didn't...I wonder where he came from..." He noted the shivering, and while he was the CEO of KaibaCorp, reputed to be cold and heartless, he wasn't a complete monster. He reached into the box and very carefully scooped up the little blond, tucking him into the folds of his trench coat. "He must've been out in the storm last night."

"He looks sick or something..." Mokuba murmured as he looked over at the tiny bundle.

"Hm...perhaps...but I hope not...I mean..." Seto gave a loose shrug of his shoulders, confused. "Would you call a doctor or a veterinarian? He's not exactly human...maybe he just needs to be warmed up a little..." His brows furrowed in thought as he struggled to remember what he did for when Mokuba had come down with anything. "Warm clothes...maybe something warm to eat...some rest...I wonder who he belongs to. An why he's on our doorstep."

"Hai..." Mokuba nodded as he moved back to go into the house. "I'll go get a warm cloth, ne?"

Seto nodded in agreement, patting Mokuba's head in approval as he opened the door again.

As soon as he was able to get his shoes off, Mokuba had rushed off to find a warm cloth and some soup. He wasn't sure what the little inujin ate, so he made tomato soup.

A little unsure of what to do with the tiny thing, Seto took the little blond to the couch in the living room, setting him down gingerly with his head on a pillow, covering the other up with his trench coat for the time being as he toed his shoes off and set them where they belonged, then padded to one of the lower-floor bathrooms and grabbed a small towel, heading back with it and sitting down beside the boy, drying off his hair as best he could.

Though the blonde bundle did not wake up right just then, he gave a faint, puppy-like whine as the other dried him off, tail wagging ever-so-slightly as Seto managed to scratch behind his ears.

Seto had to blink at that as he gazed down at him. "What are you, ne, little one?" he murmured softly. "A puppy or a boy?" It was rather confusing to see something as wild as this in real life--barring games and cartoons--and he'd be lying if he didn't admit to being somewhat at a loss as to what to do with the tiny thing. His fingers scratched lightly at one soft, floppy ear. "Just where did you come from...?"

The little inujin's tail flicking was the only response the other got as he leaned his head faintly to his hand. Not two minutes later, Mokuba had arrived with the warm towel and some soup.

"Arigato, otouto..." Seto smiled softly at his brother, tousling Mokuba's hair gently as he took the soup and carefully set it aside so as to not spill it, and gently wiped the warm cloth over the other's cheeks and face and neck, tending to him as best he could.

Mokuba watched him work silently, falling in love with the kawaii little inujin with ever little whimper and sniffle he gave. "Can we keep him Seto...?" he asked after a bit.

"Mokuba..." the brunette murmured with a frown. "He's not exactly a stray puppy that wandered in...he's...well, I'm not sure, precisely. Something like this just doesn't walk around like any stray, there's certainly no inujins that you can find in a pet shop...he's part human...or something like that. What if he...I don't know, belongs somewhere or to someone...?"

"And what if he doesn't? I mean, he looks like he got pretty beaten up..." Mokuba reasoned. "Maybe he was trying to get away from them?"

He bit his lip absently in thought. Such a tiny little thing...and so unusual. Where could he have come from? "He's so young...no bigger than you were when we were taken in by *him*." he replied, the simple word slipping out like acid on his tongue. "I'm not sure what to do with him, little brother...he's not a puppy that we can adopt...nor is he a little boy that belongs with parents." He sighed after a moment. "We'll look after him for a time...see what happens...is that okay...?"

"Thanks Niisama!" Mokuba beamed as he glomped the other, grinning happily. "Wow, I can't believe it! A real, like inujin in our house!"

"Don't treat him like some pet, though." Seto cautioned with a wag of his finger before the boy's nose. "We're not sure how he was treated."

"Hai, Niisama!" he nodded with a big smile. The little thing was just so cute, how could you resist him? "Ne...do you think we should call a vet or something...?" he asked, resting his head in arms on the arm of the couch as he gazed at the little inujin.

"I'm not sure, really." Seto murmured as he too, gazed down at the little blond. "Sure, he's part-puppy, but I have no clue what his body is like...animals are different than people, after all. Not to mention that a vet would probably freak at something like this."

"Well, maybe you could hack some big animals research computer to see if there's anything like him," he commented as the brushed his fingers along the blonde hair.

"Good idea, little brother..." he murmured. "Maybe I can dig up some information if there is anything like this out there, too. This could possibly be something illegal." He stood, gazing down at Mokuba. "I'll get my laptop, keep an eye on him...?"

"Hai!" he nodded with a smile, moving to sit on the floor beside the couch and pet the soft hair of the little inujin. "You're so kawaii," he grinned.

Seto chuckled softly, seeing that the younger was fairly enchanted by the tiny little thing. He glanced at the inujin again, then walked back to the kitchen, where he'd been typing up the last of his documents while finishing up breakfast. He brought back the computer and booted it up, sitting on the edge of the couch as he logged in, then paused, before typing up "koinu-inujin" in the search engine.

Of course, there were plenty of sites on dogs, and several hentai-anime ones with inujins, but there didn't appear to be any of real life inujins.

"Find anything?" Mokuba asked a few hours later after he'd seen his brother's face go several different colors.

"Only that people have some very sick minds..." he muttered, shaking his head as he took his reading glasses off. "Nothing that I can tell of anything like what we have here."

"Rats..." Mokuba murmured as he looked over at the tiny inujin, who by this time looked much more comfortable, curled up happily in Seto's coat as he slept without shivering or trembling anymore.

"I'm having a bad feeling that this isn't a proper, legal thing, Mokuba." Seto sighed as he leaned back against the couch seat. "He may have come from a...laboratory or something. Where they do experiments with humans and animals and such." he replied with a shudder at the thought.

"Nani...?? That's horrible!" he cried, eyes wide. "Poor little guy... He's only a kid..."

"I know." Seto murmured. "As you said...perhaps he may have escaped from somewhere...we can't be certain. He's only a child, and I don't know how his mind works...we won't know until he wakes up...maybe wherever he came from is the only place he knew. People do things with science that makes what I do with electronics and virtual reality look like child's play. In any case...if we were to show him to anyone or get him checked out...he could get into some bad trouble."

"Then what will we do if he's sick...?" Mokuba asked worriedly.

"If we can't take him to a doctor or anything...what would happen...??"

He bit his lip. "Best I can think of is to try to help him best we can, and then if worse comes to worse, we can call Dr. Shimon. We can trust him, he knows how to keep secrets..." He sighed at that, his eyes narrowing a bit in thought at the family doctor that had helped them with the problems with *him*.

"Okay," he nodded as he turned back to the inujin once more, startled to find confused honey eyes staring back at him. "Uh...Niisama, I think he's awake..."

His musing fluttered away back into the back of his mind, and the brunette gazed down. "So I see..." he murmured. "Hello there..." he replied, just a smidgen awkwardly.

"..." Who were these people?? They weren't wearing white, or glasses, either! He shrunk back slightly under the coat, tail between his legs as be bit his bottom lip slightly.

"Aw, he's so kawaii..." Mokuba giggled. "Here, we won't hurt you," he coaxed lightly.

"Careful, Mokuba." Seto replied quietly, making sure to not let his voice be too loud or gruff in fear of scaring the little blond. "Don't rush him, we're strangers to him." He made sure to keep his distance, knowing himself that he didn't like to be cornered. "It's alright, little one. You're safe here."

"..." Hesitantly, though very reluctantly, the tiny inujin sniffed Mokuba's fingers slightly, ready to bolt at a moment's notice. Mokuba didn't move at all, careful not to scare him as the tiny creature finally decided he was okay and stopped looking as scared as he had been previously. The scent of the jacket matched the scent of the taller Kaiba, he noticed, looking up at the tall CEO timidly. "W-where am I...?" he asked in a tiny, uneasy voice.

"You're in our home, little one." Seto murmured softly. "We found you on our doorstep, curled up in one of the old boxes...are you alright?"

The little inujin nodded faintly, sitting up enough to shake his head slightly. "What's a home...?" he asked softly, still looking quite unsure of the two as he hugged Seto's jacket to him.

"A home is where you live with lots of people like friends and family," Mokuba smiled. "Seto's my big brother, and I'm Mokuba!"

"Mo...kuba?" he sounded it out slowly, looking up at the taller brunet. "Seto?"

"Yup!" he nodded. "What's your name?" he asked kindly.

"I don' h've one..." he murmured, ears dropping slightly.

Seto blinked. Didn't know what a home was, didn't have a name...sounded like one of those projects that you saw scientists in movies have, Project #50-380 or something like that, instead of a person or creature with a name. He would have suggested Koinu, but that was a bit redundant...he tapped his chin in thought. "We could give you one, if you'd like..." he replied.

"H'nto ni...?" he asked softly, tilting his head to the side slightly as looking up with the cutest puppy eyes ever. They would have put both Mokuba and Yugi to shame.

Blue eyes widened slightly. Erk...oh dear. It was a common fact that he could rarely say no to anything involving his brother's puppy eyes. He was complete and utter sap regarding them...and it seemed that the little one's eyes had just turned something to goo inside him. He swallowed and smiled a little, nodding. "Honto ni."

"Thn'kies," he said softly, giving the tiniest hints of a smile as he gave a little blush. Mokuba practically melted, cooing at him as he gently pet the inujin's head, telling him how cute he was. Said inujin only giggled cutely, now feeling much better around the two that Mokuba was petting him, and thus causing his tail to wag happily.

Seto chuckled softly at the kawaii sight, despite himself and tilted his head in thought. "A name..." he murmured softly as his mind whirled through names that meant something. "How about Jounouchi? It means strength...and for such a little thing, you do have a remarkable will."

"Jo'ochi?" the little inujin blinked. "I l'kes it!" he nodded with a smile that could melt anyone's heart.

"Jonouchi it is!" Mokuba smiled.

"Alright, then." the brunette murmured with a little smile. "Are you hungry, Jounouchi...?"

"Uh-huh." he nodded softly. "M' st'mache's all em'ty."

"We've got soup, if you'd like," Mokuba offered.

"Soup...?"

Oboy...what *did* he eat? "Um...it's...a liquid broth...that you sip..." Seto replied a little awkwardly, unsure how to describe things. "Do you know what you've eaten...?"

"Nu-uh," he shook his head. "Ish alw'ys thr'gh a sharpy thing," he murmured, holding up on arm and pointing to two IV marks in one vein.

"Oh my god..." Mokuba murmured. "Jonouchi..."

Blue eyes widened, and the CEO's face paled at that. Fed through an IV...like...some test tube creation or something...wasn't he ever treated like a normal child? He swallowed and licked his lips, before replying, "Jounouchi...did you ever have friends...or people to take care of you...? A family...?"

"Th're w're lots of white coats n' glass's," he said. "I d'nno if there w's fam'ly or fr'ends, 'cause I dun kn'w what they are."

"..." Seto was silent for a long space of moments. True, he and Mokuba had never had a normal life, not since Mokuba was the blonde's age...but this...? It made him fairly sick to his stomach. "Friends...are those that you care about...or play with, as a child, as you are a child. Family are those who are close to you. A father. Mother. Brother. Sister..."

"Wh't's those?" he asked, looking quite confused by this point. Those people in coats had never really spoken to him; he'd had to teach himself how to talk.

He shivered, then moved closer, very carefully, gently scooping up the blond, coat and all, into his lap, giving him a gentle hug. "A father and a mother are your parents..." he managed to choke out after a moment, upset that the poor boy didn't even know. "They're the ones who brought you into this world...raised you and protected you..." He bit his lip, and moved on. "A brother and a sister are those who are born to your mother and father, they're your siblings. The same blood. Mokuba is my younger brother, we share the same parents."

Honey eyes blinked at him as he smiled slightly, looking happily up at the other. "Sos you an' Mok'ba have th' same moth...moth..." he struggled with the word for a second.

"Mother?" Mokuba offered.

"Yeah! Moth'r and fath'r!" he said.

"Yes...we did." Seto murmured softly with a little sad smile. It made it hurt worse, somehow...they'd lost their parents when they were kids, and this little one...gods...

"I don' 'memb'r havin' a moth'r or fath'r, but I bet they'r relly nice ta have!" he said, smile turning to confusion only when he saw the sad smile upon Seto's lips. "Your sm'le went sad..." he said, pointing to the other's lips.

His eyes widened a bit, before he looked down a little, a bit shaken. Parents--or the lack of them--was somewhat of a sore subject with him, and it took a few moments for him to clear the boulder out of his throat. "Well...we lost our parents when we were about your age...so...we can understand where you're coming from...ne, Mokuba...?"

"Hai..." Mokuba nodded softly. He didn't really remember much about them, but Seto always told him how nice they were, and how pretty their mom had been, their father handsome. He moved to sit beside his brother, seeing the slightly misted look in his eyes. Families were always a touchy subject for him.

"C'n'ts you find th'm?" Jou asked as he pawed slightly at Seto's tie.

Seto tilted his head as he kissed the top of Mokuba's head lightly, grateful for his support. He was always strong for him...it was nice to have that returned. He smiled faintly at the little blond and shook his head. "No, we can't. They've been gone for a long time, and it won't be for quite a longer time that we see them again." he replied softly.

"But you still gets a' see th'm again?" he asked, sitting down comfortably in the brunet's lap and wagging his tail ever so often.

"Someday...maybe..." Seto murmured quietly, his voice choking slightly again, before he cleared it dutifully, his eyes suspiciously damp, the lashes clinging together.

"Your eyes are melting," Jou commented as he looked up at the other.

He chuckled a bit raspily and lifted a hand to wipe his eyes. "Tears after all this time..." he muttered under his breath. "They're tears, little one. It's something you cry when you're sad or happy."

"Tears...?" he blinked slightly as one Seto missed hit his nose. "They'r' wet," he said as he wiped his nose slightly. "Are you sad...?"

"Hai..." he murmured softly. "I'm sad because I miss my own parents sometimes, and that Mokuba was too young to remember them, and I'm also sad that you don't remember yours." He gave a small smile. "Parents are the best." he sighed. "If that's the case, then that's even worse." Seto murmured softly as he lifted a hand and stroked it through Jou's bangs. "You're so young...too young to be alone."

Jou's tail wagged happily as he smiled at him. "But 'm nots! You an' Mok'ba are here!"

"Right!" Mokuba smiled as he tickled the sole of Jou's foot, causing a quiet giggle and a squirm as he pulled his feet back into the coat for 'protection'.

He chuckled softly and tousled the little one's hair. "So, does soup sound okay...? If you want anything else, just say so." he murmured.

"'kay!" he nodded, carefully climbing out from the warm coat around him and trying to stand. Of course, this reminded his ankle that it had been twisted as he yelped, falling down on Seto's lap again as tiny wet pearls pricked his eyes.

"Oh Jou! Are you okay??" Mokuba asked worriedly as he helped the little inujin sit back up.

"My ankle hurts..." he murmured, sniffling and his ears fell and his tail curled.

"Let me see..." Seto murmured softly, as he took the little foot delicately in his hand, fingers lightly touching the bones there. "I'm not a doctor, but it seems like you sprained it." he replied softly. "I don't think it's something serious...Mokuba, get me the first aid kit out of the bathroom."

"Hai!" Mokuba nodded, trotting off.

"Nnn..." Jou pouted slightly as he drew his ankle away from the hands. "No touch," he mumbled. It hurt when it was touched.

"Gomen..." the brunette murmured, gently setting the foot back down and stroking his hair soothingly. "I'm just going to wrap it up so it can heal...but we'll help you get around, okay?"

"Nn 'kay," Jou murmured as he leaned into the gentle pets the other gave him. "Th'nks for helpin' me..." he said softly as he lay his head against the other's chest. "I w's relly sc'red..."

"I can imagine..." the brunette murmured soothingly. "You're safe here, Jou...no one will hurt you."

"'Kies," he smiled softly as he relaxed against the other. Everything had happened so fast from when he had been in his kennel, but he preferred this a lot more. There were no courses to run no funny-sticky pads on him, and no weird sharpy sticks.

"Got the first aid box," Mokuba smiled as he trotted back into the room.

"Thanks, otouto." Seto smiled, carefully setting the box beside him and opening it up, drawing out a roll of gauze. "Now...I'll have to handle your ankle again, Jou...try to stay real still, okay...?"

"Nnn..." Jou's ears bent back but he nodded softly, tiny hands curling to fists as he lifted his leg for the other. He didn't like it when his leg was touched, but Seto said this would make it better.

He stroked his hair soothingly for a moment, then very carefully placed his fingers just above the ankle, unrolling the gauze with his teeth, and then started the task of rolling it around from where his fingers rested, to his ankle, to over his heel to stationalize it, making it tight, but not too tight. "Mokuba, the tape to seal it off...?"

"Sure!" He nodded as he took a bit of athlete's tape, gently wrapping it around twice to ensure it stayed there.

Jou fairly beamed when it was done, looking at his foot with a grin. "It's all f'xded!"

"Hai, all fixed." Seto smiled at him. "But stay off of it a little to let it heal up, okay?"

"'Kay kay!" he nodded, tail wagging happily as he nuzzled the brunet's stomach happily. He'd never been treated this nice before!

He tousled the blond hair gently. "Now, something to fill that empty stomach?" he murmured as he poked said stomach lightly with a fingertip.

Jou gave the adorable giggle every child did when being cute, nodding enthusiastically as his ears perked up at the promise of food. "Hai!"

"The soup went kind of cold and stale, so I'll go make some more!" Mokuba offered.

Scritching one ear lightly, Seto smiled at Mokuba as he closed the first aid box. "Thanks, Mokuba."

"No problem!" he smiled as he took the soup and left. Jou, needless to say, was wagging his tail in absolute heaven as he beamed up at the other. One could practically feel the little hearts radiating from him as he leaned happily into the fingers scratching him.

Seto chuckled softly as he glanced down at Jou, noting the blissful, happy expression. "You like that, hm?" he murmured.

"Hai! Ish n'ce!" he chirped, tail emphasizing this point by it's insistent wagging. "I likes it!"

"Kawaii..." he replied softly, feeling something inside him just turn into mush as his fingers drew over the ear lightly from base to tip, then slid through the soft golden hair and over the other ear.

If he were a nekojin, he'd be in purring hysterics right then. But instead, being the inujin he was, he yipped happily as he fairly well glomped the brunet, smothering him with happy licks and nuzzles as he tail wagged at 200 mph.

"Oof...!" Seto gasped in surprise at the little bundle of fur and love, and laughed aloud, not just one of his quiet chuckles, but a full, content laugh as he hugged the little blond, tickling his ear lightly.

Mokuba had just arrived in time to hear that. 'Niisama...' An affectionate smile crossed his lips at that. His brother hardly ever laughed like that anymore... Maybe this whole thing would be good for all of them.

Again, the cute little giggle-chuckle from the blonde pup as he squirmed happily in the other's arms.

"Oi, oi, no rough-housing in the house!" Mokuba teased as he walked up with a new bowl of soup.

"He started it." Seto, his face flushed from exertion and the warmth of the golden-haired pup in his arms, smiling at Mokuba as he sat back up from where he'd been tackled against the back of the couch, tousling Jou's hair lightly.

"Hee!" he grinned, looking quite happy as he carefully squirmed from his grip, minding his ankle as the bowl of soup was brought down to him in his place in Seto's lap. "Wash th't...?" he asked, crouched and looking at it, every bit as curious as a puppy. His ears were held up, eyes wide and awed by the reddish-orange liquid in the bowl and his tail up with excitement.

Mokuba laughed. "It's soup, Jou!"

"Soup...?" He looked at it for a bit, before poking at it with a finger. "Aah! Wet!" he said, eyes wide as he pulled his finger back to stare at it.

"Hai, you sip at it. Like you would water." The brunette's tone wasn't anywhere near what it was when he was the big, bad CEO. Instead, it was calm, soft, and patient, as how it was when he helped his brother with his homework. "It's good, Jou, makes you warm inside." he replied as best he could. Kami, it was hard to explain food to someone that had never had anything like it...

"Nnn..." He blinked at his finger, before carefully licking at the tomato sauce on his index fingers. He licked at his lips for a moment before his tail wagged happily. "Ish good! I wants m're!" he chirped.

"Hn..." Blue eyes gazed thoughtfully at the spoon that was in the bowl. "Do you know how to handle a spoon?"

"Spoon...?" He just blinked cluelessly. What was a 'spoon'??

"Here, this is a spoon," Mokuba smiled as he held the utensil out for the inujin. Carefully taking it in both hands by the handle, he blinked at it.

"Wh't's it do?"

"Like this." Seto folded his fingers very carefully around the little hand, reminded very much so of teaching Mokuba how to handle things like this, and guided one little hand with the spoon to the soup, ladled up some, and brought it carefully back up to Jou's mouth. "Open up." he smiled.

"Ahhh," he said as he opened his tiny mouth.

He carefully tipped the spoon to the blonde's lips and into his mouth. "Close, kudasai." he murmured, slowly moving the spoon back out.

"Nm!" Jou murred as he did so, tasting the delicious taste of the tomato soup rolling over his taste buds. It was good! But...now what did he do?

"Swallow." Seto smiled, his lips quirking upwards in a faint grin of amusement. Is this how parents taught their kids to eat? He didn't remember how his mother had fed Mokuba, but it was cute all the same as he watched the little one's cheeks swell out a little like a chipmunk's.

Swallow?? 'It must be what people do ta eat!' he decided as he tried to figure out how. Oh yeah! Like after he'd run through the courses, and had to swallow afterwards to keep his throat wet! He slowly swallowed the substance, gulping it down without incident. "I dids it!" he said proudly.

"Very good, koinu." Seto murmured softly, encouragingly, tousling his hair with his other hand. "Like to try on your own?"

"Uh-huh!" He nodded happily, grabbing the large spoon (for him at least) with two tiny hands, dipping it in and trying not to spill as he failed slightly, spilling some on Seto as he finally managed to fit the last remnants of the soup and swallow. "Oopsies," he blinked, looking at the wet stain on Seto's pant leg.

Mokuba giggled. "Nice, Jou!"

Definitely like teaching a child to eat. Thank gods he had patience still with his brother to lead it over with the little inujin, since he was, in a fashion, his 'parent'. "It's alright, Jou. Everyone makes mistakes. It'll clean up." he smiled softly. No...he wouldn't take the route that *he'd* taken when he had made mistakes. He was better than that.

"Oki-doki!" he nodded as he smiled, and attempted to feed himself again.

Watching the blond eat, Seto was reminded of his own hunger, since he'd not eaten much at breakfast, distracted as always with his typing, and flushed at his growling stomach, which sounded louder than normal in the room.

"...Ish there a monster in your stomach?" he asked as his ears perked at the noise. By that time, however, he'd managed to spill tomato soup over both of them.

Seto chuckled slightly. "No, I'm just hungry, myself." he replied as he eyed the mess he was making. "You'll need a bath after you finish, Jou..."

"Bath?" he blinked. "What's that??"

He stared a little at that. He didn't even know what a bath was? Suddenly, he wanted to strangle the people that had taken care of Jou, treating him so callously. "It's something you do to get clean, when you're dirty or sweaty, and it uses water and soap."

"The people call'd it a Cleanining..." he fumbled with his words slightly. "Cleanining...nn...cleanining process," he said finally with a pout.

"Cleaning process?" Seto frowned at that. "Doesn't sound like fun." he murmured as he stroked Jou's hair soothingly.

He shook his head in agreement. "Not fun. Lotsa mean wet things."

"The only wet things in a bath are you and the water. And the soap and cloth. Nothing else, no mean wet things." Seto replied gently at the little one's expression.

"None?" he asked hopefully as he looked up at the brunet with imploring honey cherub-eyes.

"None." Seto echoed with a nod. Poor little guy...he scratched his ear gently. "Promise."

"Nn...okies," he said finally as he let his tail wag. "But I don' wants you to go nowhere, kay kay?" he asked as he gripped the teen's shirt in his tiny hands.

"I won't, Jou." the brunette murmured. "I'm right here, and so is Mokuba. We won't leave you."

"'Kies," he smiled softly, hugging him as best he could, being so much smaller than the other. "Here, I'll go put everything away, and Niisama can help you with your bath!" Mokuba smiled as he picked up the dishes.

Seto smiled at his brother's helpfulness and glanced at the little blond as he hugged him back gently and tousled his hair. "Might as well keep the clothes I've got on and change after, you might splash me." he murmured with a teasing tweak to the cute little nose.

"Hee! Splash!" he echoed as he glomped the other's chest, gazing up at him playfully.

"Come on, Jou..." He scooped up the little blond, cradling him to his chest as he stood. "Hmm...should make a call to the office..." He trailed back to where he'd left the cell phone, and instead of dealing with stubborn board members that wouldn't take no for an answer, he left a voice mail that he wouldn't be coming in, and hung up. "Mokuba's always wanted me to take a day off, now he's gotten his wish." he chuckled as he put the phone away and tickled the inujin's ear. "Now, bath time."

"Hee!" he giggled, beaming up at him as his tag wagged again. "Bath bath!"

Seto carried Jou to his bedroom's bath--since he would have to change afterwards--and eyed the large tub, before he shook his head. "Iie...you'll get lost in that one..." he murmured with a little smile, before he turned to the sink. "I think this'll do. You're small enough, and the sink's big enough." The sink was bigger and more elaborate than the average sink, and it really wouldn't be hard for the little inujin to take a bath, there. The bathtub was large, even for him, and he didn't want the little one to slip. He turned on the water, stopping up the water once he'd adjusted the temperature to warm, but not too hot, and grabbed up a bit of bubble bath to fill it up, sending colorful little bubbles floating into the air.

Of course, as every curious child, or inujin was want to do, Jou set about trying to catch some, sitting on the edge of the counter as he pawed at the pretty orbs floating over his head with a happily giggle. "Looks! They'r' flyin'!" he said as he laughed in a bubbly fashion, pun not intended.

Setting a hand out so the little blond wouldn't fall, Seto chuckled softly, catching one with his fingertip, just soapy enough that it didn't pop, and held it before Jou's nose, resting it on the tip of it with a chuckle of amusement.

"Wow..." he whispered in awe, eyes wide as he experimentally poked it with a finger, blinking when it popped. "Ish gone!"

Seto chuckled softly and nodded as he carefully removed what garments the blond had, mentally listing to himself to see if he could find something of Mokuba's when he was little for the inujin to wear, instead. "Hai, but they come back." he replied, blowing at the suds, and sending more into the air.

"Ah!" he grinned, shifting to kneel and he batted at the bubbles in the air, not in the least minding hid nudity, as most children didn't.

Seto chuckled lightly, respectfully keeping his eyes on the pup's upper form, and not let curiosity drag him down. He gently picked up the little blond, and settled him carefully into the sink, water and bubbles.

Jou blinked as he was set down, giggling and attacking the bubbles with his hands as soon as he got used to being in the warm water. "Mah!" he giggled, splashing the water and bubbles about the sink.

"Ack...!" Seto half-yelped as he was, as he'd figured to be, splashed by the other's exploits, soaking his face and shirt a bit, but he didn't mind. He'd dry off, after all. He smiled at the other's happiness, and picked up a cloth, wetting it down and soaping it up, before he gently bathed the little body, splashing him back with a little flick of his fingers, but not very hard, so he didn't get soap in his eyes.

"Ah!" he yelped happily as he shielded his eyes, giggling under his ministrations. He pawed at his fingers with a chime-like laugh, batting at them lightly. He'd never been allowed to have so much fun!

He laughed softly and tapped his nose, setting a bunch of bubbles on the inujin's nose, laughing a bit more when the honeyed eyes crossed. "Kawaii..." he chuckled as he continued.

"Blah!" he giggled, blowing the bubbles from his nose and gleefully batting at any that flew his way as the other cleaned him. He didn't mind the other's hand cleaning him, having gone through several thorough physical examinations before. But all that was forgotten as he laughed as he managed to splash Seto in the face, covering him in suds.

"Oh...!" Seto gasped, sputtering a laugh as he spewed water from between his lips like a fountain, looking something like Santa Claus with his white face. "You little sneak..." he chuckled, wiping at his eyes, nose and mouth, and stuck his tongue out at him playfully.

"Hee!" he grinned proudly, sticking out his own tongue as his wet tail wagged playfully and he ducked into the water enough so that only his head and tail stood out under the bubbles, his hands clutching lightly at the rim of the sink. He looked just like a puppy ready to play tug-of-war.

That was utterly priceless. Seto couldn't help but smile at the adorable sight, feeling his heart melt--which was something that only happened with his brother, thank you very much--and play-growled lightly, crouching down to his level and peering at him from the edge of the sink.

Jou's tail instantly wagged with excitement as his eyes lit up, and he looked all ready to pounce playfully at him, a big grin of excitement plastered to his face. His ears were perked right up, twitching with unreleased excitement as his inu's side of playfulness came out as he growled back playfully.

He laughed softly at his expression, pleased that he was able to make the little blond so happy, and "pounced" him first, grabbing him lightly, very careful with his large hands, and tickled him.

While Jou had tried to jump away, it was fruitless as he ended up squirming in the other's grip, laughing wildly as he splashing bubbles and water everywhere. He gave a playful growl, nipping at his fingers with pointy canine teeth. However, as it was only playful, it didn't last long as he licked the area he bit affectionately to show he had meant no harm.

While those little teeth were very sharp, he smiled at the little blonde's motions and growled back lightly, ducking his head to avoid sprays of water as he tickled the adorable little blond, uncaring of the flying water and soaked hair and shirt.

The little blonde burst into giggles all over again as he squirmed as best he could now. He gave an excited yip at Seto, trying to roll out of his grip with a grin.

He chuckled softly and nuzzled him lightly, before ceasing his tickling, the little body quite clean by now as he picked up a bottle of shampoo and poured some into his hands.

Jou caught the scent quite easily, blinking as he smelt something sweet. "What's th't?" he asked, the brunet upside-down to him since he was on his back somewhat.

"Shampoo...for your hair." Seto replied as he glanced down at him. "I think it's..." he glanced at the bottle as he set it down. "...yes, vanilla. You like the scent?"

"It smells nice," he nodded with a smile as he sniffed it again, licking his lips. "Smells yummy!"

"Don't eat it, koinu." the brunette laughed. "It's not made for eating, but washing." He lifted his sudsy hands to the soaked golden hair and carefully started to massage in the soap. "If you can, close your ears and your eyes, so I don't get any soap in them, alright?"

"Kay kay," he nodded as he closed his eyes, ears falling back against his head as he felt the other lather the sweet-smelling substance into his hair gently.

"Good boy..." he murmured softly, before his fingers slipped to the roots of the thick golden strands, massaging and cleansing the little one's hair thoroughly, moving quick fingers every so often when the suds started to creep down Jou's face.

And every time they did so, he blow them back up with a giggle, tag wagging happily as he other's hands worked all the tomato sauce from his hair.

He smiled and wiped away the suds from the little kawaii face, making sure to get every strand clean, before he murmured, "Stay still, and keep your mouth closed, it's time for me to rinse off." He lifted his hands and gathered water into his hands, rinsing off the suds from the other's hair, making sure to get all of them out so that his hair was soaked, but soap-free. "There...all clean."

"Bett'r!" He chirped happily as he smiled up at the other, wet hair plastered to his face. He giggled happily, shaking much like a dog to rid himself of water on him. Of course, this hit Seto.

"Agh...!" Seto gasped, raising his hands to shield his face, laughing. "Thanks for the free bath."

"Welc'mes!" he giggled, looking quite pleased with himself.

"Hn..." He chuckled softly, holding his arms out to his sides, the sleeves of his shirt dripping, along with his hair, and wagged a finger at him playfully, before picking up a towel and scooping up Jou into it to dry him off.

"You all wets!" Jou giggled as he poked his head out from the towel cocoon, the material hanging off his head slightly as he beamed up at the other.

"I wonder why that is..." Seto teased with a smile as he moved the towel over the little body and hair to dry him off, smirking slightly at the kawaii puppy nearly lost in the folds of the towel.

"'Cause I gots you wet!" he tittered cutely, hair a definite mess once it had been dried as best it could.

"Right you are." Seto chuckled softly, fingers automatically reaching to stroke down the inujin's hair, as he did for Mokuba, tickling his neck with the other hand.

Jou gave a little giggle, pawing cutely at his hands as he snuggled into the other's arms contently.

He scratched an ear gently, then wrapped up the towel around him for the time being as he put things away, letting the water out, and carried him out of the bathroom. "Would you like to wear some of Mokuba's clothes from when he was your size? I think I have a box of them stowed away in my closet."

"Kay kay!" he chirped happily as he snuggled happily into the towel. He'd already grown to adore the brunet, diagnosed with a term commonly know as, 'puppy love'. Not the kind that one would use for a human in reference to a crush, but the adoration a puppy had for its owner. He nuzzled Seto's arm happily, cooing happily.

Blue eyes drifted down to the happy little pup, caressing his hair gently as he smiled, and carried him to his bedroom, setting him down in the middle of his bed as he tousled the boy's hair fondly, then headed towards his closet.

"Big room!" he said in awe as he crawled out from the towel, ears perked as he gazed around the large, blue room. "The bed's all soft and comfy," he said happily, lying on it and giving it a nuzzle as his little tail wagged.

The brunette glanced back at him, and chuckled softly. "Glad you like it." he replied as he leaned up on tiptoe to draw out a medium-sized box, pulling it out and setting it on the floor.

"Ooh, wh't's th't?" he asked as he crawled to the edge of the bed, on his hands and knees as he peered over.

"Mokuba's clothes." Seto chuckled softly as he noted his scrawl on the side of the box stating as such, flipping open the lid. "Don't know why I saved everything he outgrew...but I'm glad I did..."

"Th't's a lot a' cl'thes!" he agreed as he leaned over the edge to get a better view, slipping slightly and scrambling back from the edge with a yip of surprise. Definitely a puppy.

"Careful there, don't fall..." Seto cautioned as he glanced back at the little blond, before kneeling down before the box and moving to unfold the neatly folded garments stored away.

"I won'!" he promised as moved back a bit from the edge, sitting patiently for Seto as he watched from a distance. Of course, he had a small attention span, so he began amusing himself by crawling under the towel under the bed, poking his little head from under it with a giggle.

Seto glanced up from his nostalgic musings, remembering bits and pieces of his little brother when he was younger through the garments, at the giggle, and felt his heart simply melt into a pile of mush in his chest. A soft smile slipped over his lips at the little blond playing peek-a-boo, and if he'd been the type--which he certainly wasn't--he would have squealed and glomped the little blond. Instead, he chuckled softly, watching him.

As soon as the brunet approached the bed, however, the blonde yipped playfully and jumped from his 'hiding place', looking ever bit as eager as a puppy to play, his tag wagging excitedly.

Seto smiled down at the kawaii little bundle of golden fluff and wiggling, before he indulged in the other's desire for play, slipping his hand under the covers and moving it around, "attacking" the little one with a tweak at his tail or such through the blankets.

"Yipe!" Jou yelped in surprise for a moment, before a look of determination crossed his face and he crouched playfully, trying to pounce on the moving foe beneath the blankets with a kawaii growl of determination. "Rah!" he leaped for it, missing it again.

Seto bit back a laugh, chuckling quietly to himself in amusement as he continued his motions, tapping at the little toes before darting back the other way as he watched him play.

Jou jumped slightly, tail wagging madly as he made another pounce at the hand, mindful of his ankle as he darted after it.

He made a small growling sound in the back of his throat, and had the unseen foe "attack" again, tickling the little blond as he tackled his hand.

Another yelp came from the blonde pup as he jumped away, ears perked up in surprise as he gave a tiny growl and pounced again, gnawing at the as he grabbed the lump with his tiny hands. Ha! He caught it! His tail wagged with pride, and he was so incredibly happy he didn't care that he was cold because he had no clothes on right then.

Seto laughed softly at that madly wagging tail and the little growls, the unseen enemy surrendering under the fierce conqueror as he grinned at the other's happiness. "Having fun…?" he chuckled softly.

"Yesh!" he beamed happily, looking back at the other with a beam of pride. "I gots it!"

"Very good..." he murmured as he tousled his hair with his other hand. "Now...let's get you dressed, before you get cold..."

"Kay kay!" he smiled, releasing his 'prey' as he crawled over to the tall brunet, sitting obediently for him as he waited for him to give him some clothes.

Seto smiled and scratched one of his ears gently, then headed back to the box, digging in and producing a little red shirt that looked to be Jou's size, and a little pair of pants. "Hmm...I don't think that Mokuba would mind a hole for that little tail of yours..." he murmured, picking up scissors from his desk and cutting out a hole for the little tail. He didn't want Jou to be uncomfortable, after all. He eyed the hole after he was finished, then set the scissors back down and brought the clothes to him.

"Wow...! I n'ver gots cl'thes like these b'fore!" Jou said in awe as his tail wagged in anticipation. They were all cool and colorful! "Can I try them on now??" he asked hopefully.

"Of course." Seto replied as he handed them to him. "They're yours, after all." he smiled gently.

"Th'nks so much!" he beamed, taking the shirt happily and hugging it. "But...I dunno how ta puts them on," he murmured with a blink.

"Here..." Seto crouched down in front of him. "Let me help you." He took the shirt from him gently, then lifted his arms up. "Hold your arms up, like this."

"Okies!" he smiled, copying him and holding his arms up for the other.

He made an encouraging sound and took the little shirt in his hands, working it onto the boy, careful to not tug on his ears as he worked it down over his head and arms, then over his torso before flattening it out. "There. You can lower your arms, now..."

"Kay!" he chirped, happy at having a comfy shirt to wear as he beamed at the other. "Th'kies!"

"You're welcome." Seto chuckled, then picked up the little pair of jeans, then the un-bandaged leg of the little blond, working on the material, before carefully adding the other and wriggling it up the other's legs, then his hips, working the tail through the hole, then fastened them. "There…how does that feel?"

"Comfy!" he said happily and his tail moved to emphasize this point.

"Good." The brunette chuckled softly as he stroked Jou's hair lightly, then stood. "I should have some shoes in there, too..." he murmured as he went back to the box.

"Sho's?" he blinked, wiggling his toes lightly.

"Hai, shoes..." Seto replied, then made a sound of delight as he pulled a little pair of sneakers out and set some other little clothes out, including shirts and pants and a little bitty pair of footie pajamas, before closing the flaps of the box, and heading over to him, tickling his toes. "They go over these."

"Hee!" he giggled, pulling his feet back and grinning. "But I l'kes my feet!"

"Well, what if you go outside to play?" he murmured. "There's rocks and such that could hurt, that's what shoes are for, to protect your feet."

"Buts I c'n't!" he protested. "Looks! My foot's hurted!"

"Good point..." Seto replied, pursing his lips slightly in thought. "Let me make sure that these shoes fit you, and then you can wear them when you're better, that okay?"

"'Kies," he nodded, holding up his undamaged foot to the teen. "But be carefuls, kay kay?"

"Of course." he murmured with a little smile, before he took the little foot gently, and eased the shoe on, tying the laces. "How does that feel?"

"Likes a gi'nt sock!" he said.

He chuckled at that, and then undid the shoe and drew it off again. "You'll have some time to get used to them…for the time being, you can go barefooted, just as long as these little feet don't get cold..." he replied, tickling his toes again.

Jou gave a happy yelped, pulling his feet back and giggling happily. "No colds!" he chirped. "I wanna play now!"

"Oh?" Seto chuckled lightly. "And what would you like to play?"

"Um...a game!" he said. "Like hides an seek!"

Seto's eyes widened a bit. Hide and seek? In *this* house? "Er..." he glanced around. "It is rather large...ideal for hide and seek..." he chuckled faintly. "But don't get lost, ne?"

"Uh-uh!" he grinned. "I won'!" he promised. Carefully crawling off the bed and touching down with his good foot, he giggled as he tapped Seto's leg. "You ish it!"

"Alright, then..." Seto murmured, pleased that the other knew how to play games, at least, then covered his eyes with his hands. "You'd better hide..." he warned with a low chuckle.

"Hai!" he nodded with a chirp. He trotted off with a tiny limp, not paying any mind as he giggled happily.

"One, two, three, four, five..." Seto started to count, smiling at the little giggle he heard.

Jou quickly ran from the room as best his leg permitted, going to the first big closet he could find and scurrying inside.

He heard the little padding footsteps go outside, so he knew that the other had left the room...just as long as he didn't go far, or else he'd have to set up a SWAT team to find him...he counted up to twenty, paused as he tried to remember the words to say when searching out--gods, it'd been a long time since he'd played like this--and replied out loud, "Ready or not, here I come!" He turned on his heel, striding towards the door.

As soon as he caught those words, Jou's tail began to wag with excitement as he forced himself to remain quiet. Seto's never find him in here!

Pausing at the doorway, hand on the frame, Seto pursed his lips in thought as he glanced down the hallway, then up, before glancing at the doors before him. He didn't think the little one couldn't have gotten far...not with his foot...so he had to be somewhere behind these doors. He stepped forward into the hallway, picking a random door and opening it.

Lucky for the blond pup, it wasn't his door. He giggled slightly, hiding at the bottom shelf of the closet.

Hearing a muffled sound to his left, Seto lifted his head, smiling slightly, before he made a show of opening all the doors, working down to where the sound had originated from.

It was the very last door that he opened that the blond puppy was hiding in. He giggled again as he saw the silhouette of the brunet, ducking down low and shifting slightly.

Seto opened the door with a smile, before he spotted the little blond, but made a game of not seeing him, looking around everywhere, peering behind boxes and brooms and such, before he drawled, "Why...what do we have here...? A little blond...dust bunny!" he replied, scooping up Jou and tickling him.

Jou gave a hyper, childish squeal as he was scooped up, laughing giddily as he squirmed in his grip. "No dusty bunny!" he laughed.

"No dusty bunny? Must be a dusty puppy, then..." Seto replied, tucking him in the crook of his arm and tickling his chin.

"Hee! Yesh!" he giggled, kicking his legs happily as he shook his head, little clumps of dust falling from his blonde locks.

He smiled softly at the kawaii sight, plucking off bits of dust from his hair and off of his face, hugging him lightly. "Having fun?" he questioned lightly.

"Yesh!" he giggled, sneezing when a bit of dust caused him to do so. He just pawed at his nose slightly, before grinning up at the brunet. "Lotsa fun!"

"Glad to hear it." Seto smiled. "I need to change, I'm still soaked from the bath you gave me...want to play when I get changed?"

"Hai!" he nodded happily.

He carried the other back into his bedroom and set him on his bed again, before walking to the closet to change, thankful for the walk-in space...he didn't want to dress in front of the little one. "So what games do you play?" he asked curiously as he fished out a new shirt and pair of pants.

"Um...well, th't's one a' th' only ones I know 'cause I wasn' s'possed to play a lot!" Jou said as he sat down on the bed comfortably, kicking his feet slightly.

Seto blinked at that as he slid out of the wet shirt and tomato-soup stained pants. "Why not?" he asked.

"'Cause I wuz s'pposed to do other stuffs," Jou said as he flopped onto his back, kicking his feet lightly in the air.

"But...you're just a little kid..." the brunette replied as he pulled on the new shirt and pants, and came out, placing the dirty clothes in the hamper. "Little ones like you are supposed to run and play."

"I gots a' do lotsa runnin' on core...core...courses!" he said, proud to have remembered the right word this time.

Courses? Seto restrained a snort as he sat down beside him. Sounded like a rat in a maze, and he certainly wasn't that. "Well, you don't have to do that anymore." he replied as he poked a finger lightly into the blonde's stomach. "All you need to do here is have fun and be happy."

"I c'n do that!" Jou nodded with a giggle as he glomped his hand lightly.

"Good." Seto smiled, before picking him up and cuddling him close.

Jou instantly snuggled up to him in his gentle embrace, looking quite the happy camper as he nuzzled Seto's hand affectionately.

Seto chuckled softly, stroking his hair. "Saa...have you ever played with a ball before?" he asked softly, remembering running into an old tennis ball in the box that had been stowed in there for some reason. He could fashion a game of catch for the little blond, since he was too tiny to do much else, and he was so...well, puppyish.

"Ball...?" he cocked his head in confusion.

Seto smiled at the pure puppyish motion and tousled the golden hair lightly, before moving back to the box and fishing out the tennis ball, holding it up for him to see as he walked back and rolled it across the bed to him.

Jou's honey eyes were instantly glued to the object as he made a grab for it. It was pure instinct that drove him to and attack the ball.

Instantly, a puppy-like determination took over the blonde as he rushed after it, yapping happily as he tried to catch the elusive ball between his tiny hands.

Seto chuckled quietly under his breath at the little yaps from the blond, watching in amusement as the tennis ball rolled just ahead of the grasping hands. He had to smother a laugh at the madly-wagging tail behind Jou, the image so adorable.

Jou gave a triumphant cry as he managed to catch the tennis ball in his hands, looking more excited and proud than he had ever been, gnawing at it with his tiny canine teeth.

Seto grinned and reached out, scratching Jou's ears lightly. "Very good, koinu..." he murmured softly.

Jou beamed happily up at him, tail wagging proudly as he clutched the ball to his chest, chewing on it with a kawaii look. "Hee!"

Seto smiled and held out his hand. "May I see?" he replied to the little blond.

The little inujin instantly felt the urge to protect his prize, pouting slightly as he held it a bit tighter. It was his, he caught it! "Mine!"

"Of course it's yours." Seto replied with an amused sound. "But would you like to chase it again?"

Jou thought that over for a second, before grinning and nodding. "Yesh!" he chirped happily, tail wagging in anticipation as he nodded enthusiastically.

The brunette gave him a fond smile and held out his hand for the ball. "Then may I see it?"

"..." After a moment of thought, he nodded and relinquished his hold on the ball reluctantly to the brunet. "Kay kay." he said.

Seto tousled his hair gently, then murmured, "See?" , before he tossed the ball again, sending it rolling across the bed.

"Ah!" he cried in excitement, instantly giving chase to the ball as he chased it with eagerness.

He had to laugh at that as the little blond went scrambling after the ball, watching him play.

In the end, the little blonde pup successfully caught the ball, and brought it back to Seto, tail wagging happily as he beamed up at him. He'd learned the game of 'fetch'.

Seto smiled and scratched Jou's ears fondly. "Again?"

"Yesh!" he beamed, tail wagging happily as he held out the ball to him. "Again, again!"

Seto chuckled softly and tapped his nose, before he took the ball from the blonde's little fingers and rolled it, the little ball rolling under a pillow.

Instantly the little blonde dove under the pillow after the ball, laughing happily as he bounded after it.

Seto laughed aloud at that, seeing the little legs dig in and the little tail, as normal, wagging like mad. "Adorable..." he murmured softly.

A second later the legs and tail disappeared beneath the pillow, not a moment later, his tiny head poking out with a tennis ball clenched in his tiny hands as he beamed proudly. "I gots it!"

Blue eyes crinkled up with laughter as he nodded. "I see...good job, Jou..." he replied, laughing softly.

Jou giggled, a happy look on his face as he wiggled out, bounding over to the CEO and sitting beside him with a smile. "I did good?"

"You did very good." he assured him as he picked up the little inujin and sat him in his lap, stroking his ears.

Words could not describe the happiness and pride the little blonde felt as he yipped happily, glomping his stomach and nuzzling him affectionately.

"Oomph...!" the brunette grunted at the glomp which nearly knocked him over, smiling warmly down at the little blond as he stroked his hair.

Jou giggled happily, snuggling up to him contentedly as he looked up with cute, happy gold eyes.

Seto couldn't help but hug him right back then...he'd never seen such an adoring gaze since Mokuba, and it zinged straight to his heart.

A cute, tiny yawn came from the pup's mouth as he smiled contentedly, snuggled up in his arms.

"Looks like someone is sleepy..." he murmured, smiling at the adorable yawn.

"Tired," Jou agreed with a tiny yawn, nuzzling his arms.

He scratched his ears softly. "It's time for all good little inujins to sleep, then..."

Jou just murred happily, snuggling into a comfy position on his lap.

"I didn't mean..." Seto started to protest, then chuckled lightly with a shrug. Ah, well…he didn't have to go anywhere, anyway.

Oblivious to what Seto may have thought, the little bundle rested contentedly against the CEO, tiny fists clenching bits of Seto's shirt in his hand.

"Sleep well, koinu..." the brunette whispered, stroking his hair softly as he gazed down at him.

"Niisama, are you in here?" Mokuba called lightly, peeking his head in the door.

Seto lifted his head, and smiled at Mokuba. "I'm here. I have a puppy in my lap, it's hard to move." he chuckled lightly.

"Kawaii...!" Mokuba murmured, smiling as he came over. "Jou's even more adorable asleep!"

"I think he has us wrapped around his little fingers don't you?" the brunette replied with a nudge at his little brother's shoulder, his fingers stroking Jou's hair lightly.

Mokuba grinned with a chuckle. "Probably; he's just so cute, you can't resist him."

"Something like that..." Seto chuckled softly as he stroked his fingers lightly though the soft golden hair. "I wonder how fast he'll grow…dogs take a year to be an adult, humans eighteen years...just what would an inujin be…?"

"Good question," Mokuba murmured. "Think he would know?" he asked as he sat beside his brother on the bed.

"I doubt he would...or if he did, it wouldn't make much sense to him." Seto murmured as he scratched Jou's ears lightly. "Poor little koinu...best I can figure out was that whoever had him treated him as nothing more than a lab rat, an experiment." He shook his head slightly, then glanced at Mokuba with a little smile. "But we'll change that, won't we? We'll give him a good home."

"Right!" he nodded with a smile. There was no way they were letting Jou go back to whatever lab had him. He deserved better, and heck, he was too cute to ever give up.

"It'll be strange, though..." he murmured with a faint chuckle. "I'm not sure whether to treat him like an inu or a human, or both...! Not to mention it'll be difficult to function with him. Would it even be safe to take him outside, and let him see other people...?"

"If we do, we should make sure his ears and tail don't show," Mokuba commented. "Someone might recognize him!"

Seto nodded, then leaned to kiss the top of the little blonde's head. "Welcome to the Kaiba family, little one..." he murmured. "Better or worse."

The tiny blonde's ears flicked slightly as he gave a soft murmur. He cuddled closer to Seto, looking no unlike a tiny cherub with inujin-like qualities.

********

A year passed in the Kaiba household, and the people within it adapted marvelously to the new little addition. The maids thought he was adorable, the butlers smiled at Jou's presence, and the cook always had some sweet treat or another for the kawaii little inujin that had stole into everyone's hearts--especially their young master's. Everyone got used to the sight of Seto playing with the little pup, even smiling in the adorable blonde's presence. It was a good change for the better, it was a needed respite from the trials of KaibaCorp and the stress it induced on the brunette, and the presence of the inujin that fairly tackled him and hugged him when he got home was something very nice, indeed.

But what no one had been prepared for was that the tiny little blond that was always curious, always underfoot, always adorable, would grow up so quickly. In the space of a year, the little inujin had shot up like a weed, from a tiny little child that was about the size of a seven-year-old, to about the height of a young teenager, lanky and growing into himself.

Seto was unprepared for the change. From the adorable little bundle of fluff that had looked at him with something like worship to a young teenager that was growing into quite a looker. He didn't know really what to think of it. It was something that never failed to make him blink in the mornings--the sight of a young man with soft golden hair that tumbled down a little past his shoulders, floppy brown ears and tail, with a body that still tripped over itself, but showed promise of being quite a handsome inujin.

He shook out the un-respectful thoughts and smiled at the yawning young blond that tripped into the kitchen. "Ohayo, Jou...hungry?"

The blonde teen instantly seemed more awake at the brunet's word, a big smile coming to his face as he nodded happily. "Hai!" he grinned, tail wagging as it had his whole life thus far. He still looked up to the brunet, still felt an undying loyalty to him; it was if he would always carry that with him, as he gave a happy smile, hugging the CEO good morning. Of course, some of his affections for the brunet had taken a slight turn, so that it was more than a purely innocent feeling of love and adoration, to a full-blown crush that only a teen could get.

He was privately tutored, so he didn't have many interactions with others. Seto and Mokuba were still a bit wary of that. Of course, that hadn't stopped him from hiding his ears and tail, and dying his hair so no one would recognize him. Seto hadn't been all that pleased either. Well, actually, he had been pretty ticked, but that was probably the worst incident. Other than that, he was a good kid.

"How are you today?" Jou asked happily, even in his teen years having that irresistible charm about him that you couldn't help but fall victim to.

"Besides the usual annoyances of people at KaibaCorp calling me in the middle of the night when I actually get some sleep?" Seto murmured in amusement as he kissed the top of Jou's head affectionately as he gave him a one-armed hug back, his other holding a cup of coffee. "Just fine, koinu." he smiled softly.

A faint pink hue came to the inujin's cheeks as he smiled at the other. He always felt light hearted and bubbly when he received those sweet attentions that only Mokuba got apart from him. It made him all the more infatuated with the CEO as his tail seemed to wag with even more vigor. "I'm glad!" he replied, his natural charm floating about him. It was quickly replaced by a puzzled expression when a scent drifted to his nose. "Hey...are those pancakes??" he asked in excitement. No scrap of food could ever get by his nose. It seemed it was drawn to any kind of food.

"It is, indeed. Strawberry-filled, your favorite...for doing so well with your lessons yesterday, I'm very pleased at your grades, Jou." Seto replied with a nod as he let go of the blond and headed to the cupboard, reaching up for a plate--incidentally causing the dark blue silk shirt to cling to his back and show off his physique--as he flipped several pancakes onto it, and handed it to him with a smile.

Naturally, the blonde's eyes caught all that and he gaped slightly. He was sure his face deepened several shades when the brunet turned back to him. Wait, Seto had praised him! He felt a swell of pride as he tried to hide his blush, hoping his tail would just stop moving in excitement at seeing the older teen's fine form. 'Bad thoughts, bad thoughts!' he repeated in his mind, trying to force them from it. He didn't need a reply of last night's dream!

He took the plate with a grin a blush, feeling both excited and embarrassed all at once. Hey, hormones did that to you.

Seto chuckled softly at the blush, finding it adorable as he tousled the other's hair. "You're very smart, koinu, as I knew you'd be. I'm very pleased that you're doing so well, so I thought to give you a reward, since you like it when I cook so much." he chuckled softly.

"Thanks!" he practically beamed. He felt even more adoration towards the teen when he said he was proud of him, or spoke highly. "Your cooking is the best!" he said. The blonde moved back the to table, feeling just fine in his boxers and T-shirt, despite the low temperature outside. It was winter, and that meant Seto was more likely to let him go outside of the mansion's gates with him! He just needed to charm him a little.

Seto flushed a bit modestly and chucked as he sipped his coffee. "Thank you...that must be why Mokuba scarfed down his share before he went off with his friends." he laughed. "Just you and me today, koinu...I called off from work."

'Just us today?' Jou thought in excitement. This was perfect! His stomach was practically doing flip-flops as he gained an excited look. "Honto ni?? Just us today??" It was looking like one of the best days of his life!

Seto nodded, pleased at his expression. "I know I've been working too much recently and not spending enough time with you. So I thought to change that today."

'Perfect!!' This day couldn't get any better! Jou's tail seemed to be going at 300 miles an hour as he cheered happily, asking if they could go out to 'the mall or something' and have fun. Of course, even if he said no, he'd have Seto all to himself! His crush! Oh, this was a happy day indeed!

Seto gazed at him thoughtfully over his coffee cup as he mulled over the question, before he chuckled softly and took a sip. Like he could deny his koinu anything. "If it would make you happy, Jou, sure. But you'll have to be careful."

"I will, I promise!" he nodded with an excited smile. He ate his pancakes quickly, as he wanted to go out as soon as possible. He would get to spend the whole day with Seto, just the two of them! His heart was all a flutter at this thought, as his happiness was very evident. Though he doubted any of his dreams would come true--so he'd found a few dirty magazines when he'd gone out--he would enjoy it nonetheless. He took his plate to the sink, placing it in as he hugged Seto again, from behind, smiling happily. "Thank you so much Seto!"

The brunette turned his head to gaze at the younger blond, smiling gently as he patted his hands with one of his. "You're welcome, koinu."

He'd long grown used to the affectionate pet name, having once thought he'd been renamed in his earlier days. 'Seto has such a beautiful smile...' he mused with a happy one of his own. On a sudden impulse, he nuzzled Seto's cheek as he had done as a tiny pup, giving him a soft kiss there. Of course, he had done this frequently as a puppy, so he doubted Seto realized it was a sign of a deeper affection for him.

As always, when it came to affectionate motions outside of his brother, the CEO blushed faintly at the kiss, but didn't back away from it, or the blond, patting Jou's cheek lightly with his other hand.

Jou pulled back with a smile, arms behind him back. "I'm gonna get dressed, 'kay? You better be ready to go by then!" he winked, turning and trotting from the room with his tail swinging behind him.

Seto chuckled softly as he drained his cup and set it in the sink, before glancing around. Cell phone in his coat pocket--just for emergencies and no business matters--pager back in the study along with the laptop...he nodded to himself and cleaned up the breakfast table and put the dishes in the sink as well, before heading out to the living room for his shoes and coat.

Jou hummed happily as he set about changing, throwing his shirt and boxers away as he moved to go find some suitable clothes. He was not uncomfortable by his nudity, finding it as normal as anything else as he first moved to find boxers and socks. He was going out with Seto!

Pulling on his trench coat--this one a soft velvet-blue color and with a fuzzy collar, hood and cuffs--Seto muttered to himself at his forgetfulness that the cell phone wasn't in his pocket like he thought, and headed back upstairs to his study. He passed by chance Jou's room, a room that had been especially decorated for him and across from his own, the door halfway open, and glanced in absently--before he blushed at the nude blonde in the search for clothes. His eyes widened, and he quickly turned his head away, blushing furiously as he headed quickly for his study. Bad thing to do, bad thing to do...he groaned mentally and wiped his hand over his face.

Of course, with his sensitive hearing, the blonde had easily heard him as he blinked, turning around. "Seto?" He struggled a bit, almost falling over as he struggled to get his boxers on, before following after the brunet that seemed to have picked up his pace. "Where're you going?" he asked, catching up almost immediately in only boxers.

Seto stiffened a bit, and struggled not to blush as the blond caught up to him--thankfully clothed, but not by very much. "Forgot my cell phone was still in my study..." he murmured.

"Oh...hey, I thought we agreed no cell phones?" he frowned, ears flattening slightly.

"Only for emergencies, koinu. No business, promise."

"Better not be..." he said, ears remaining half-bent as he gave a half-frown. "If your company calls again..." he fumed slightly. "I just know they will!"

"They won't drag me in, Jou. I'm the CEO, and I called the day off. They can certainly survive twenty-four hours without me."

"You swear?"

"Okay..." He frowned thoughtfully at first, but heck, he couldn't stay mad at him at all. His frown turned to a small smile as he wagged his tail lightly. "Okay, just wait for me to get my clothes-" Jou blinked when his towel fell slightly, and he was forced to grab it. "Ack, stupid thing!" he flushed.

"...!!..." Blue eyes widened, and he flushed, looking ahead as he tried to not squeak. "I won't go anywhere, koinu. Not without you."

Jou grinned up at him as he grabbed the towel and pulled it back on. "Okay! I'll meet you at the front door!" he said, nodding.

"Alright. Make sure to dress warm." he told him in that grown-up tone he used with Mokuba, and with him as he started for his room.

"Ha-ii!" Jou called, sticking out his tongue as he rushed off, tail wagging behind him.

Seto gazed after him, then shook his head at himself as he slipped into his room, pocketing his cell phone. Really. Yes, Jou was a handsome young man, but he was younger than he was, and he was responsible for him, almost like a parent. It would not do to have some moment of teenage hormones. He rolled his eyes slightly, pulling his coat about him.

By the time Seto had reached the door, Jou was already standing there, shoes on and waiting. He wore a white, long-sleeve shirt with a T-shirt over top, baize cargo pants, white socks, black sandals, and a slightly-oversized baseball cap to hide his ears. His tail was kept inside his pants.

Seto eyed the blonde's garments and nodded in approval. "That'll do, koinu." he murmured, reaching out to pull down the hat a little tighter, tucking a few golden strands behind the brim to hold the hat down further.

Jou batted his hands away with a grin. "Seto! Hey! I'm not a puppy anymore!"

The brunette blinked, then smiled gently at him. "Gomen...I just want to make sure that hat is down tight. I don't want my best puppy getting in trouble."

"I won't, I won't!" he laughed.

Seto nodded, then tilted his head in askance. "Ready to go, then?"

"Hai!" He nodded, grinning as he opened the door and beckoned to him.

The brunette chuckled softly, then settled his hands in his coat, following after him.

Jou ran happily to the garage, entering the code to open it. "Can we take the Mercedes?" he called.

"Sure." Seto replied, smiling lightly at the other's exuberance.

Jou grinned and ran to said car. "C'mon, hurry! We gotta go quick!" he grinned with excitement.

"And what's the rush, koinu?" he murmured with a chuckle of amusement as he followed after the blond. "Nothing's going anywhere."

"Hai, hai, but I'm excited!" He said happily. "I hardly ever get to go out with you!"

"Well, I'll just have to make up for it, won't I?" he replied as he located the keys and opened up the doors.

"Hai!" Jou laughed as he climbed in happily.

Seto smiled gently, relieved to make the blond so happy as he slid in himself, closing the door after and sticking the key in the ignition. "Where to, Master Jou?" he replied in a drawl, sounding like the limo driver.

Jou flushed lightly at the vision that came to mind, but grinned nonetheless. "Domino mall," he said, his tone a mock of a snob's.

Seto bit his lip on a snicker, since the young koinu sounded like some of the associates he worked with, and nodded. "Right away, Master Jou."

"And step on it!" he grinned.

"Well...not too hard." Seto replied with a chuckle as he pulled out of the garage, then turned and headed down the driveway.

"..." Jou felt his face heat up again as he gazed at the CEO. He really had no idea how much he was taken by him.

Keen eyes caught the gaze and Seto blinked at him before he started driving. "Something wrong?"

"Um...no!" he shook his head, cheeks colouring slightly as he looked out his window.

Blinking again as he kept his attention on the road, Seto felt a brow lift curiously. "Something seems to be troubling you..."

"R-really! I'm good!" he assured him. "It's uh...my tail! It hurts from being sat on!" he said quickly.

"...I see." he murmured. "Is it better, then?" He had a feeling that he was being lied to, and while he didn't like it, he let it slide since the other seemed so uncomfortable.

"Well, kinda... It just hurts a little," he admitted, feeling bad for hiding the truth from Seto.

Seto nodded in understanding. "I'm sorry you have to hide, koinu...you know I wouldn't make you if it wasn't necessary."

"I know," he nodded with a smile. "I just wish that didn't have to. I mean, it's been a long time since I escaped, right? Haven't they stopped looking yet...?"

"I honestly don't know. What with you being so unique...I would doubt they would give up so easily." Seto murmured.

Jou sighed. "It sucks majorly."

"I know, koinu..." he murmured gently as he glanced at Jou, smiling lightly. "But we want you to be safe."

"And I don't want to leave you," he nodded with a smile.

Long fingers reached out and brushed his cheek gently. "Same here."

Jou flushed softly, smiling as he nuzzled it the way he always had.

One long digit poked at his cheek playfully, before he pulled back and turned a corner to head into the Domino Mall parking lot.

"Can we go to the pizza parlour??" Jou asked hopefully as he looked out the window.

"It's your day, Jou. You call the shots." Seto replied with a chuckle. "So whatever you'd like."

"Pizza and video game shopping!" he grinned. "And then we go to Playdium!"

"Alright, then." the brunette murmured as he pulled into a parking spot.

"Yes!" he cheered.

Seto chuckled softly and turned off the car, undoing his seatbelt. "Okay...let's get to it."

"Hai!" he grinned, quickly undoing his own seatbelt and rushing to get out. "C'mon, c'mon!"

Seto chuckled softly as he slid out, then closed the door, smiling softly in amusement as the let the inujin pull him.

Jou was in awe at how many people there were in the mall. This was way more than he had ever seen! There were so many different ones, too!

Seto was of the same mind, and while not comfortable in crowds very much--both of his own personal habits and for Jou--he steered his way through it, for Jou's sake. He wanted him to have fun, after all, he deserved it.

The first place they stopped by the was the pizza parlour, where Jou promptly ordered one of every slices of pizza.

Seto was of the same mind, and while not comfortable in crowds very much--both of his own personal habits and for Jou--he steered his way through it, for Jou's sake. He wanted him to have fun, after all, he deserved it.

The first place they stopped by the was the pizza parlour, where Jou promptly ordered one of every slice of pizza.

Seto blinked at his actions, then chuckled softly. "Bottomless pit." he teased in amusement.

"Hey, I'm a growing boy," he grinned as he took the first slice to eat.

The brunette snorted at that, and bit neatly into his own modest slice. "If you say so."

"Nyah," he stuck out his tongue.

He smirked lightly and shook his head in amusement, throwing a wadded-up napkin at him lightly.

Jou dodged it easily, grinning back. "Hey, behave yourself, mister."

"You rub off on me, Jou." he chuckled. "I incorporate your manners...thankfully you don't incorporate mine." he replied, winking playfully.

"Hey!"

Seto smirked lightly, amused at the blonde's antics, as always, before he gave an innocent look. "What?"

"...Nn," he grunted, a slightly pouting look on his face as he ate his pizza. Of course, he grinned a moment later.

He chuckled softly. "Enjoying yourself, koinu?" he murmured with an affectionate smile.

"Hai," he nodded vigorously. "Thanks so much for taking me out!"

"You're welcome, Jou. Anything to make you happy."

"Then you promise to actually have fun when we go to Playdium?" he asked as he took a sip of his soda.

"I will honestly try. How's that?" Seto replied with a low laugh.

"Great," he smiled softly, while silently admiring his smile. He always looked so sexy with that half smirk/smile...

At the inujin's reaction, Seto's smirk melted into a soft, real, small smile, and nodded. "Just for you, koinu."

A soft, tiny blush settled on the teen's face as he returned it, rubbing nose slightly.

He chuckled softly and finished off his pieces, before eyeing the blonde's inhaling. "Are you going to be able to walk after all that?" he teased lightly.

"I have a higher metabolism than you, remember?" he grinned.

"Hn...that's an understatement." One blue eye winked lightly.

Again his cheeks coloured faintly, and he took another sip from his soda.

Seto finished off his modest meal--having less than the inujin did--and glanced at Jou as the last pizza was polished off. "Finished?"

"Yeah!" he nodded, wiping his mouth with a napkin. "'M done!"

He chuckled and nodded, taking their plates and emptying them into the trash container, before heading back. "Next?"

"Playdium!" he grinned excitedly. "Mokuba says they have the best games there!"

And most likely the most noise, but nodded with a light smile. "Let's go, then."

"Yes!" Jou grinned. "You've GOTTA play DDR with me!"

"...DDR?" Seto blinked in confusion. He really wasn't into video games and such...not like his little brother and Jou.

"Dance Dance Revolution!" Jou grinned. "You gotta try it, Seto!"

"Dance?" Seto paled, and shook his head, flushing. "Ohhh, no...you're not getting me to dance...I can't...!"

"There's no such thing as I can't!" he protested.

"I mean, I can't dance..." he muttered, flushing.

"Oh..." he blinked, then snickered. "You'll learn, then!"

He groaned slightly at that, wincing. "And make a fool of myself."

"Oh come on!" he grinned. "No one's THAT bad...!"

"Wanna bet?"

"...Here, I'll even dance first!" he smiled, handing money to the cashier when they arrived.

"Better you than me..." Seto murmured in embarrassment. Here? In front of people? Correction, people younger than him? Impossible. He may have moved pretty well in other things, tall and slim as he was...but he was a klutz. He *still* remember when Mokuba tried to teach him for a dance he had to go to...

"Aw, just relax!" Jou smiled as he grabbed his Playdium card and dragged the CEO into the large arcade.

Relax, he said...Seto shook his head as he was dragged in after paying for himself. Worse...he didn't want to seem silly in front of Jou...or embarrass him.

Of course, the first thing Jou went for was the DDR machine. There was already one person playing it, and he to refrain from wagging his tail as he felt excitement flourish within him.

The CEO eyed the dancer on the platform, and blanched at the obviously-experienced person, before he leaned to murmur to Jou, "You and Mokuba know this game better than me...how does...it work...?" he replied uncertainly, restraining himself from sneaking for the exit.

"Well, you see those four arrows on the dance pad? You have to step on them exactly when the arrow on the screen reaches the top!" Jou said. "The more you get right, the higher your score."

Seto paled further. You had to watch the arrows on the screen, too? But how was he to watch where his feet went? He groaned quietly. "I'm so going to fail..." He wasn't normally one to admit defeat, but it came to dancing...he waved the proverbial white flag.

"It's not that hard! The arrows are left, right, up, and down! Easy!"

"Says you." the brunette muttered. "You're not the one with two left feet, koinu..."

"True," he grinned. "Oh hey! The Dance board's free!" he grinned. "Just watch first, okay?" he smiled as he ran over to challenge the winner.

Seto bit his lip nervously as he watched the blond, both at the game, and the dangerous spot they were in. If that hat bounced off while he was dancing...he swallowed and crossed his arms over his chest.

"Hey, can I play against you?" Jou asked as he walked to the floor.

The auburn-haired girl lifted her head, then smiled in a pleasant manner. "Sure! If you can keep up." she teased lightly as she pushed a braceleted hand through her hair, which was slightly damp from the dance moves.

"Heh, easy," he grinned as he swiped his card through, and moved to the centre square. He and Mokuba hand managed to rig up one of the computer with DDRMAX and a dance pad, so he was already a master at it. "What song?" he asked.

"Speed Over Beethoven." she replied with a grin, stretching her skirt back where it belonged and un-kinking her legs as she reached and grabbed her ankles one by one to stretch her legs out before setting them back on the platform.

Jou simply smiled and waited. He chose ONI for his level, the most difficult, and waited for her to make her choice.

Bracing her feet sturdily, she blinked and smiled at his choice, looking forward to a challenge, as bubble-gum pink fingernails selected ONI as well. "May the best player win." she replied with a laugh.

"I plan to," he joked as the game began. Instantly, arrows began flying up the screen like lightning, and his feet began to move just as quickly, hitting ever mark with precision and accuracy. He was already on combo 45.

Seto's eyes widened as he watched the two start off like they were spinning tops, choking slightly. They were far more experienced than he was, he couldn't even execute a simple turn without tripping over himself! And the girl was right up there with Jou, hips swaying easily as if born to it. He could never pull off that kind of moves...

Jou cast a grin back as Seto as he completed a turn, swinging slightly to execute a perfect bounce move, then continuing to keep his high score. His body moved in a way only a inu no ningen could, keeping pace with the girl as blonde hair flew about his face and his hips swayed.

Jou had been slightly clumsy as a little one, having to grow into himself, so to speak, but seeing the blond up there, moving as he was, put normal human dancing to shame. He was all flow, his body, his hair, his limbs, nothing out of place. A measure of pride soaked through him for the inu, pleased at his motions, though he knew already that Jou was skilled at many things. He heard the girl give

a whistle of approval, booted feet blurs as she moved as best she could to keep up with the blond.

The song ended too soon for Jou's liking with the last note, and he stopped, flushed and panting with a grin as the scores were displayed. "Yatta! S!" Jou cheered. Perfect score!

The girl, nearly toppling over as the last step nearly turned her ankle, panted as she hunched slightly, resting her hands on her knees as the audience, including Seto, clapped and whistled their approval. She chuckled softly, then glanced at the scores. Two points off of a perfect score...not bad, she could still keep her head high. She straightened, taking a deep breath, and held out her hand wit

with a grin. "Great job." she replied honestly.

"Thanks!" he smiled happily. "I've practised a lot!"

"And it shows." she replied with a giggle as she shook his hand, then wobbled off the platform and into her girlfriend's arms.

Jou grinned back at Seto. "See? Easy!"

"Yeah. Right." Seto replied with a snort of amusement.

Jou grinned, blinking when other people wanted to see if they could beat the new top player. "Is it okay?" he asked hopefully.

"...Don't wear yourself out. And be careful." he told him, motioning discreetly to his head, in a symbol of Jou's hat.

Jou blinked, then grinned. "I will, I will!" he assured him, before rushing back to take on his next challenger.

Seto sighed softly, but waited patiently, letting Jou have his fun as he watched the blond. There was just some things that he couldn't do, dancing being one of the few, and he would take pleasure in watching his pup beat the pants off of his challengers.

Of course, by now the blonde had selected only HARD mode, just to show off--particularly to one brunet in the crowd. He moved with even greater grace than before, making a sort of tease.

He had to admire the liquid moves of the blond...no one that he'd seen yet, going by his critical eye, could even match up to Jou's grace and agility. He smiled softly, proud of the other as he heard whispers and gasps of approval from the crowd around him.

Three games later, the blonde was absolutely pooped as he panted, walking back over to Seto with a grin. "Enough of that game, I'm beat," he said, face flushed from the effort.

"You did well, Jou." he replied softly, then blinked when a dark-haired teen, looking more like a girl than a boy with those big green eyes and delicate face, sauntered over to them.

"Great job..." the other boy replied with a sort of soft purr, the words a light caress as he spoke them, gazing over the blond approvingly.

Jou blinked, looking back. "Oh, thanks," he commented with a small smile. "I have one at home, so it's easy for me to practise."

Seto's eyes narrowed suspiciously at the other teen as the dark-haired boy laughed and flicked a piece of dark hair from his eyes, recognising flirting tactics. Why that little...Jou was too young to be flirted with...! Wasn't he? He'd never really been flirted with...the other teens his age had been too intimidated by his status to really try.

"Lucky you." the other boy replied as he winked at Jou. "You're very good. Your moves are perfect..." he murmured as he lightly traced a fingertip up Jou's arm. "All liquid grace..."

"...Um..." Jou's ears went back within his hat as he gave an uncomfortable look. Why was he touching his arm like that...? "Thanks...?"

Seto's fists balled as the boy gave a wide grin and stuck a slip of paper into Jou's shirt pocket. "Name's Otogi. Call me sometime if you ever wanna hang out." he replied with a little wave, before sauntering away.

"..." Jou frowned slightly as he looked at the card. "What the heck...??" he looked back at Seto. "Who WAS that??"

"Otogi, so he said." Seto murmured. "He was flirting with you, koinu..." He chuckled faintly as he gazed down at him a little sadly. "You're growing up, Jou...just like watching my little brother grow up, you're starting to get asked out."

"On a date??" he blinked.

"If you were so inclined." he murmured.

"But I hardly even know him, and he gave me a bad feeling..." Jou said with a frown.

"It doesn't mean you have to accept, Jou." Seto replied gently as he led him back out through the crowd. "I'm sure you'll be asked out by many other people."

"But I don't really want to go out with anyone," he said. 'Except with you,' he thought silently.

"You don't?" Seto blinked at him. Funny...he'd never been asked out once, because people were intimidated by him, and Jou, who would draw people to him like a light to moths, didn't want to. "Why not?"

Jou smiled. "Because there's already someone I'm interested in," he said.

"Ah..." Seto murmured, blinking slightly. Who was he interested in? Well...it wasn't his concern, he wouldn't pry like some overprotective parent. "Well, you're sure to be very popular, koinu. Doesn't mean you have to accept anyone's advances. If it doesn't feel right, then you're best to keep away from them."

"I know," he smiled. "So I'll wait until I do."

Seto smiled faintly. "In a way, I sort of envy you. When I was your age, people were too scared of me to ask me out. My name preceded me. I may have been sought after..." he replied with a shrug. "...but I was never asked out."

"Honto ni?" he blinked. "But why would that stop them?? You're so nice, and kind!"

"No would take the chance to get to know that, koinu." the CEO murmured with a sigh. "I'm Seto Kaiba. Big, bad businessman that eats businessmen for lunch that could take a person down without lifting a finger. Also..." He paused, then looked down. "It's partly my own fault. I keep people at bay, because I don't want to be hurt."

"..." Jou watched him silently for a moment. "...I don't think that someone who truly likes you would do anything like that," he said as he walked alongside him. "Anyone would be lucky to have you."

He gave a slightly bitter snort. "I don't know about that, Jou. I come with a lot of baggage. It would take a very special person to chip down my walls."

Jou felt himself smile. "I don't think it'd be that hard."

Seto smiled a little himself at the words, before he leaned and kissed the top of the other's hatted head. "Thank you, Jou."

Another smile found the inujin's lips and his cheeks pinkened lightly. "Anytime," he said.

"Are you thirsty?" he asked him. "You put up quite a workout."

"Hai!" he nodded. "I think a slurpee would be great!"

"One slurpee coming up." Seto chuckled softly as he led him to a nearby little snack stand, with pretzels, hot dogs, pizza and slurpees, specifically for those that came from the games.

"Thanks!" he smiled, ordering a large slurpee as soon as they got there.

"I don't know where you put it all away..." Seto murmured with an amused little sound as he got a bottle of water for himself.

"In my stomach," he grinned.

"Ha ha ha." the brunette chuckled as he sipped at his drink, a little warm from the crowd at the DDR game, a bit trickling from the corner of his lips and down his chin before he could stop it, and lowered his head from its tilt, wiping his mouth delicately.

A blush settled across Jou's cheeks as he watched the water trail down his chin, some very nasty images coming to mind at that.

"You were very good, koinu." Seto murmured softly, smiling, virtually clueless to the other's raging emotions. "You're growing up so well. I'm proud."

Jou's cheeks darkened slightly as he ducked his head slightly. "Th-thanks..."

It was the older teen's turn to flush slightly as he fiddled with the bottled water's label, before he asked, hesitantly, "Do you...think you can teach me to dance? You're much better at it than I am..."

"Dance...?" he blinked, then nodding happily. "Sure!" Yes! He had an excuse to ask Seto to dance, finally!

"I warn you, though. I step on people's feet. Ask otouto about the many times I've bruised his toes while he tried to teach me."

"Hey, I'm light on my feet, so I'm sure I'll be fine!" he smiled.

Seto laughed softly. "Your toes." he murmured, smiling fondly at him. "Anything else you'd like to do?"

"Wanna go for a walk?" he asked. "I'd like some fresh air!"

The brunette nodded, placing a hand on the other's shoulders to steer him around more customers, long fingers curved around the slim shoulder.

Jou smiled faintly, keeping close to Seto's side the whole while. If one looked, they appeared to be a couple. Jou practically glowed at this.

Avoiding other people made Seto's hip bump into Jou's, and other times walk close to the blond so leg brushed against leg as they moved. He flushed faintly, slightly flustered at the little sparks that the movements set off. 'Kami...this is ridiculous...he's hardly older than my little brother, and yet I'm getting a charge out of being so close to him.' he snorted mentally to himself. 'I must be deprived or something.' He noted the approving looks they were given, not sure if they were for the young blond at his side, him, or them both. It rather confused him, actually.

Jou was just about as flustered as the brunet, but enjoyed it a little more. He moved a bit closer to the CEO as they moved along, nearly failing in keeping his tail from wagging. 'Gyah, I hate having to hide it!' he thought, miffed. But it was well worth it to go out with Seto!

To avoid two younger boys racing around, Seto fairly picked Jou up, his arm spanning the slim waist and holding him close. "Where's the parents when you need them?" he muttered, trying not to trip over the kids as they raced circles around the taller brunette like he was a tree.

Jou felt his face heat up as he was pulled flush against him, holding lightly to his chest with a blush. "N-no idea..." he mumbled.

Finally the two stopped tearing around Seto and darted off somewhere else to play, and he set down the blond again, making sure the hat was firmly on Jou's head. "Okay?"

"Y-yes," he squeaked, nodding hastily. He grabbed Seto's hand in his, dragging him from the mall for fear of doing something foolish in public.

Making a startled sound, Seto tripped slightly before he caught his balance, letting him drag him as his longer legs caught up to the other's quick strides.

Jou flushed as he slowed to a walk outside the building, a million thoughts a minute. He could barely believe some of the things he was thinking!!

"Are you all right?" Seto asked gently, frowning in concern at Jou as he walked beside him.

"H-hai, I-I just wasn't used to so many people," he stuttered. Well, actually, he was used to the problem that seemed to have formed in his pants.

"I understand. I wish you could be out more, koinu. It isn't right for you to be holed up at home just because you're so special."

Jou nodded in agreement, trying his best to hide his 'problem'. "U-um, I have to go to the bathroom," he lied quickly. "Be right back!"

He blinked, then nodded. "Be careful." he replied.

"I will!" he nodded, dashing off quickly for the men's room and shutting himself in a stall, flushed. He couldn't believe he had a hard-on NOW of all times!!

It was a struggle for the CEO to not go after him--after all, the pup had been around him so much, he'd rarely been out of his sight. And, as he was with Mokuba, or anyone special to him, he was protective. He shifted his weight nervously, telling his jumpy heart to calm down as he sipped at his water again. He'd had a jumbo-sized slurpee after all. It was no surprise he needed a bathroom break. H

He mentally smacked himself. 'Not everyone is a pervert or someone looking to kidnap Jou. Calm down, Seto. He'll be back.' he told himself, struggling not to fidget.

Jou gulped as he tried to calm his racing heart, his canine DNA making it VERY difficult to simply, 'will it away'. He leaned against the stall, panting slightly. This wasn't the time to be feeling like this! He didn't even think Seto would effect him that much!!

Leg jiggling absently in nervousness, Seto leaned against the wall in his wait for the blond, chewing on his lip absently. He could not go back and see if Jou was okay...that would be ridiculous. It would show him out to be some overprotective fool, and he wasn't a fool...even if he cared so much for the koinu. He had to let go of the blond, he was growing up. But everyone had to let go of their little ones someday, right? It just seemed worse...because he had both Mokuba and Jou growing up under his nose. "Kami..." he muttered under his breath. "If I'm like this for when he has to use the bathroom...imagine how I'll be when he starts going out on dates!" Shotgun-toting daddy, indeed.

Okay, it was obvious his erection was going no where. What to do, what to do?? He always had cold showers before! They didn't have showers in a mall!! He peeked his head out of the stall to see if anyone was there. None. 'Good,' he thought as he quickly rushed to the taps, running cold water over his hands.

The door opened while the blond was washing his hands, however, and who should step in but the dark-haired teen from earlier. Green eyes blinked in surprised, before he grinned. "Well...hello again, cutie." he replied.

"!" Jou felt himself stiffen as he recognised the voice. 'Uh...oh...' "U-um, hi..." He said, looking back with a meek grin. "Ah...fancy meeting you here...?"

"Yeah, really!" Otogi laughed as he sauntered in. "Thought you were long gone by now." he replied as he headed to the sink to wash his hands, his fingers sticky with what looked to be ketchup.

"Oh! N-no, I came to freshen up," he said, giving the other room and trying to hide his...ahem, 'problem' at the same time. Crud, this was going from bad to worse!

"Freshen up, eh?" he replied, keen green eyes catching his...problem, and smirking lightly. "Looks like you need more than that."

"U-uh, I'm okay," he mumbled, shifting back slightly with his cheeks a bit pink. "Really, I've gotta get back to Seto..." he mumbled, shifting slightly towards the door. Maybe he could find another washroom or something...

"Sure you don't want some...help with that...?" he purred with a wink of an eye.

"H-help w-with what?" he grinned nervously.

Otogi gave a positively-feline smile and motioned with a wave of delicate fingers. "Your little...problem downstairs..."

Jou felt his cheeks heat up to a nice scarlet. "I-I'm fine!" he squeaked.

"Cutie such as you are...I wouldn't mind helping..." Otogi replied with a wide grin.

"U-um, n-no, that's okay," he blushed. "All I need is cold water."

The dark-haired teen sauntered over, all feline grace and quick movement, before his hand slipped to the front of the blonde's jeans, and pressed lightly to the bulge there. "Mmm...are you sure...?"

Jou felt all the blood in his body go southwards as he gasped faintly, eyes going wide. "Kami!" Wh-what was this feeling of...pleasure inside of him??? All this brought on by a simple touch???

Otogi grinned again as his fingers wrapped around the other. "You like?"

Jou gave a feeble nod, biting his lip as his hips lifted into the touch around him length. Oh gods...he had never felt anything like this before in his entire life!

"Let me make that big ol' hardness feel a little better, hmm...?" he purred, deft fingers slipping to the other's button and zipper, a sly hand slipping in and wrapping around bare flesh once he'd bypassed the boxers.

Jou gave a breathless gasp of euphoria, hips jerking into his hand with faint cry. Kami, he had never felt such a feeling within himself! It was if there was a deep fire within himself, consuming him in the slowest, most pleasurable way...!

"You like that, ne?" Green eyes glinted as he licked his lips. "So responsive..." he purred, before he impulsively got to his knees, removing his hand and replaced it with his mouth.

Jou nearly screamed in pleasure at that, catching himself as his hips bucked, faltering with a breathless cry of pleasure. "Oh gods!!" he gasped out, hands flying to Otogi's hair.

What a delicious response...! Otogi grinned to himself at that as he surrounded the other's arousal with his mouth, grazing his teeth lightly against him, before he swallowed around him and took all of the length that he could, suckling him eagerly.

The fourteen-year-old inujin could barely think straight as he thrust into the hot, wet cavern around his length, much less keep his legs from quivering. He felt as if he would burst, gasping and moaning and the obsidian teen worked around him. 'Seto...!' He gave another gasp, head flying back, a look of euphoria on his face. He wanted Seto to do this, to make him feel this way! He hardly knew this guy, who made him feel such things. "Seto!" he arched, eyes half-lidded with pleasure and lust as he bucked his hips.

Seto again...must've been that brunette he was with. Otogi shrugged to himself. Didn't much care for other people being shouted for while he did this, but oh well. He trailed his tongue around the other's length, wrapping around him like a lollipop, before he deep-throated him and worked him harder.

"Aaah!!" he cried out, barely aware of his cries reverberating off the walls as he thrust into his mouth to receive more pleasure. He was so close...! To what, he wasn't sure, but he felt as if he'd die without it!

Seto, meanwhile, was nearly out of his mind with worry. Where was he? It couldn't take this long to use the restroom, could it? Protective instincts settled in, and despite his better judgement, he turned and went back to where he'd seen Jou disappear to, opening the door to the men's restroom--and freezing in shock and horror when he saw that dark-haired boy...on his knees...sucking Jou off. He could feel his skin paling, and if he'd been a stronger man, he would've broken the door with his grip. Shock stole through his system--and pain--before red seeped in behind his eyes, and he stalked in, teeth gritted, and grabbed the black-haired teen by his ponytail, which, to his satisfaction, caused the other to cry out in pain. "Get off of him. Now." he replied tightly, his voice laced with fury.

Jou looked up with hazy eyes, face flushed as he felt his length released from the obsidian-haired teen's mouth, whimpering faintly as his support was dragged away, and fell back against the wall, panting heavily and trembling.

"Get out." he told Otogi, shoving him away. "If I ever catch you near him again, I'll strangle you with your own ponytail." he snarled, the blue of his eyes raging and sending the other fairly running out of the restroom. He turned back to Jou, his jaw clenching lightly, before he replied, "Get yourself together. We're going home."

Jou blushed a deep wine colour in both embarrassment and want, nodding numbly as he stumbled to do up his pants, eyes clouded by lust. His hands fumbled slightly with the zipper, and he felt almost a great pain for not reaching that something that had been so close as he stumbled over to Seto with an ashamed expression mixed with want.

Hurt laced through blue eyes before he turned away, expression guarded. "Let's go."

Jou nodded mutely, stumbling along behind him so that no one else would see his 'problem' and try to 'help'. He had caught that look of hurt in Seto's eyes, and he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. He didn't know what was going on when that other took his length into his mouth. It had been nothing he'd ever experience before, and it had completely overwhelmed him.

Several times he opened his mouth to speak, but ended up closing them each time, finding nothing to say to the brunet.

The CEO was silent, as well, his face blank and guarded. It...hurt, somehow. First, that the blond had lied to him, and second, to be...that...with practically a stranger...couldn't Jou have told him...? His jaw clenched slightly, before he willed himself calm, and headed back to the car, opening the passenger door for him.

"Thanks..." he mumbled softly, not daring to look him in the eyes. Their perfect day had been completely ruined, he knew it... He felt awful for everything that'd happened that day.

Seto closed the door for him when the blond had slid in, and walked over to the other side, sliding in and sticking the key in the ignition after closing the door and buckling himself in. "Seatbelt." he replied.

Jou nodded mutely, putting it on almost automatically. His ears fell from within his hat. He hadn't ever been given a silent treatment like this before... "Seto...? Are...are you mad at me...?" 'Stupid question!' he thought. 'Of course he is!!'

Seto took the time to pull out of the parking lot to think on his answer, noting that his hands were gripped tightly on the steering wheel before he loosened them. "Mad? No. Disappointed, yes." he murmured quietly.

That was even worse to the blonde inujin as he looked down at his feet in shame. "...Do you hate me...?"

"I'll never hate you, Jou." Seto murmured. "I never could. Never will. No matter what."

At least he didn't hate him... "...Thank you," he mumbled softly. "I..." his words died on his lips as he sighed. "I'm sorry..."

"...You're growing up, Jou. I have to accept that. I wish you would confide in me that you feel things...and not lie to me. I worry about you, you know that."

"I-I didn't mean to, I..." Jou felt his cheeks heat up. "I-I did have to go to the bathroom, but...um...f-for a different reason," he flushed.

"So I gathered." Seto sighed.

"No! Seto, I..." he looked back down at the carpet. "I didn't know Otogi was gonna be there, honest... I-I didn't even know what he was doing to me," he admitted with a mumbled tone.

"Sometimes I forget how sheltered you really are. And while part of it's a good thing, it's also not very knowledgeable to knowing what people do." Seto murmured after a moment. "Sometimes...when people are...stimulated, another person, mostly their partner or lover, helps to pleasure them."

"But Otogi was neither!" Jou protested. "I don't even like him!"

"Then why did you let him?" he replied. "Things like that...if you don't want it...say no."

"I-I n-never felt anything like it before," he blushed a bright red. "I-I could hardly keep my mind straight, and I didn't know what to do."

The brunette sighed softly, and nodded his head in understanding. "Then I hope that you never get yourself in that situation again. Things like that...can lead to very hurtful situations."

"I'm sorry," he mumbled again. "I didn't mean to make you upset... I just wanted to spend the day with you, and it turned out so horrible..."

Seto shook his head. "It can still be fixed, koinu, if you're willing to let it."

"H-honto...?" he asked softly, looking up. "It can...?"

"Of course it can. Yes, I'm slightly disappointed that you didn't confide in me...but that doesn't mean I want you to be upset."

"I'm sorry," he mumbled again. "I...I wanted to still spend the day with you," he said softly. "I really do."

"Is there anything you would like, then?"

Jou nodded. "Just to be with you," he said softly.

Seto blinked, then glanced over to him, before he smiled gently. "I think that can be arranged."

"Really...?" he asked.

"Of course." he replied, reaching out briefly to tap his fingers against the blonde's nose.

And just like the kawaii little thing he could be, his eyes crossed slightly at the tap, before he righted them and positively beamed. "Thanks Seto!"

Seto could feel himself smiling again at the blonde's mega-watt grin and chuckled softly, happy that he'd made him smile again. "You're welcome."

Though he could tell the brunet was still uncomfortable of when he'd seen in the bathroom, he decided not to bring it up again, and instead engage Seto in a conversation on how to act when going out--if he was ever allowed to again, that is.

He noted the blond kept the topic light, and didn't mind the change, since he was honestly...at a loss for words at what he should say about that. He kept up the light conversation as he pulled into the drive at home, before glancing at him. "Think you're ready to see me make a fool of myself if I ask you to teach me to dance?" he replied with a low chuckle.

"Hey! I'm sure you couldn't be THAT bad!" he assured him.

One brow lifted. "I'll hold you to that koinu." he murmured as he turned off the car and pulled the key out of the ignition.

"Fair enough," he chuckled as he climbed out of the car, and rushed over to the mansion door. "C'mon!"

Seto chuckled softly, shaking his head in amusement as he climbed out and headed after the blond.

By this time, the blonde's problem was gone, luckily, as he felt his tail wagging in his pants. "Hurry! My tail's uncomfortable!" he called.

He nearly tripped at that one. Why...in the world did that have to sound so hentai? He shook his head at himself, and trotted after the blond, blushing faintly.

"Hey, your face is lookin' kinda red," he commented. "You okay, Seto?"

"Fine, fine..." Seto murmured. Stupid teenage hormones. "Go on and get changed, koinu."

"Hai!" he nodded, smiling as he rushed inside, kicked off his sandals and hurried up the stairs to something with a hole for his tail. Seto sure acted odd sometimes...

Seto gave a slight sigh of relief and groaned as he felt his face heat, sliding out of his coat and hanging it up before fishing out his cell phone and laying it on the coffee table as he plopped down in the sofa, and closed his eyes.

The blonde was more than happy to throw off his shirt and pants as soon as he entered the room, wagging his tail a few times to make sure it was okay, before pulling on some army green shorts, and a white muscles shirt. Satisfied with this, he rushed down from his room, pausing before entering the living room with a grin on his face. Maybe he'd scare Seto...

Or maybe not. Seto's lips lifted up into a smile, his eyes still closed. "I know you're there, koinu, your tail wagging is causing a breeze." he teased lightly.

'Dang!' Jou grinned as he vaulted over the couch with easy grace, plopping beside the teen. "Aw, you're no fun," he grinned.

"What kind of guardian would I be--not to mention big brother to Mokuba--if I didn't pay attention at all times?" Seto replied, bouncing slightly when the other landed beside him, and he opened his eyes, feeling a bit more comfortable as he smiled at him.

"A pretty lousy one," he joked as he poked his arm lightly. "You know me too well!"

"That's my job, Jou." he replied with a chuckle as he tousled the blonde's hair lightly.

"Hn, it sure seems like it," he murred as he leaned into the touch, tail wagging happily.

He smiled gently at the way the other always drew comfort from his touch, it was rather endearing. He scratched one ear gently. "So do you think you're up to the challenge?"

"Hmm?" he murmured softly, lying against the CEO by now in contentment.

One-track mind... Seto bit back a laugh. "Of teaching me?"

"Oh! Right!" he nodded, grinning sheepishly. "What kinda of dance do you wanna now?" he asked.

"I don't know...anything…"

"Oh...hm...well, wanna start with basics? I mean, I *kinda* now a slow dance, but I know more of the DDR stuff than anything else," he admitted.

"Anything you can, koinu." he murmured. "I was taught some things when I was little, but it wasn't very fun."

"Well, I guess you got to a lotta parties and stuff right?" he asked.

Seto nodded. "But I don't dance much."

"Well, let's teach ya how to slow dance first!" he said.

"Er...okay..." And toes would be crushed any time now, he knew it...

"'Kay, do ya have any soft music?" he asked as he stood, stretching his arms above his head.

Seto pursed his lips in thought, before he moved to the stereo in the corner, picking up CDs littered on the top of it, then stuck in one of the new age-type of groups, Enigma, and pushed play, the soft, haunting music flowing out like a gentle wave.

"Oooh, I like," Jou noted, ears perking up right away. "Saa, come over here, kay?" he smiled.

"Alright..." Seto murmured a tad bit nervously, before he headed back to the blond.

"Okay, so just stand in front of me, and gimme your hands," he instructed with a smile.

Looking more than just a little unsure of himself, Seto stood before him, before he lifted his hands to him.

"Okay, let's just say that I'm some woman for the moment, kay? You put your right hand on my shoulder first of all," he said as he lifted Seto's right hand to his left shoulder.

Seto nodded, swallowing a bit. This he could get, it was the footwork that worried him. He placed his hand on the blonde's shoulder.

"Okay, the next one goes on my waist, here," he said as he placed Seto's left arm on his right hip. "Now, my hands go here," he said as he place his hands in a mirror image of Seto's. "Now, just follow my lead, okay?' he smiled. "Take one step back your way."

Seto nodded again. "Be prepared for squashed toes. You should've worn army boots." he replied dryly as he took one step back.

"I trust you," he smiled. He followed Seto's step, moving forwards one. "See? Easy. Now, try stepping back with your other foot."

He stepped back--tripped a bit as his heel caught in the rug on the floor, but stepped back.

"Hey, don't be so nervous," he tease lightly, steadying him. "It's not like it's a real situation."

The brunette shrugged lightly. "I'm a perfectionist, after all."

"You shouldn't be," he giggled. "Nothing's ever perfect. Now, carefully take one step forwards with your right foot when I bring my left foot back, okay?"

Seto's brow scrunched almost cutely at this as he thought of it, and moved his right foot forward, wincing when his foot banged into Jou's. "Sorry..."

"S'kay," he chuckled. "Just don't be nervous. Now, watch my foot and move yours in time with it," he said, repeating the action.

Seto bit the inside of his lip in concentration, his eyes watching the other's feet as he cautiously moved to follow.

"Great!" he praised when no incident occurred. "Now, try your other foot!" Man, he couldn't believe he was getting to actually teach Seto to dance!

Seto paused, then switched feet, very carefully moving to copy his movements so he didn't hurt the blond.

"You did it!" he smiled. "See? It's not impossible!" He gazed softly at him, the look filled with adoration and affection. "..."

The brunette smiled at him gently. "That's because I haven't moved faster, koinu." he chuckled lightly.

A soft pink tinted his cheeks as he gave another smile back. "Let's just work on accuracy first. Now, I'll lead, and you follow."

"Um..." Seto paused, his brow furrowing again as he thought, then gingerly moved his feet to follow Jou's, a few slight trips and awkward bangs making him scowl slightly.

Jou kept his snickers of amusement back as he adjusted his feet to give the other more room as he led him into an nice, easy slow dance. While he wished it were under different circumstances, he enjoyed it thoroughly, being to intimate with the brunet right then, even after the incident at the mall. It only made him admire and care for him more.

Seto relaxed a bit after, and he gave a quiet sigh when the mix-ups disappeared, and he even smiled a little, not looking so tense.

"You're getting it!" Jou beamed as they danced slowly, as if a couple. The movements were slow and steady, and precise, even if Seto looked a bit awkward, dancing with a 14-year-old looking boy with dogs ears and a tail. The pink still complimented Jou's cheeks every now and then, that same look of adoration on his face. Gods, he wish Seto could know how he felt about him!

"Thanks to you, koinu." Seto murmured gently as he smiled a little wider. "You're a good teacher."

"I try," he smiled. "You're a quick study, so it's really easy."

"Hn...I just haven't squashed your toes, yet, that's all."

"I don't think you will," he chuckled. "Come on, let's try once more from the top," he said.

Seto nodded in agreement--before that blasted carpet got in his way again, and he nearly fell *into* the blond, his hands moving instinctively to protect Jou and wrapping tightly around his waist as he tripped.

Of course, caught off guard by this, the blonde squeaked and fell backwards, pulling the brunet down with him in a tumble.

"Ouch...you're lucky I've learned just such a move in judo, or my back would be thrown out…" Seto grimaced as he shifted, then opened his eyes. "You okay, koinu?"

"H-hai, I'm fine," he nodded, straddling him slightly, even if their faces were mere inches apart. His cheeks went a tad darker as he realized this.

Seto blinked as he realized the…very suggestive position they were in, and blushed himself, his eyes widening. How did he ever get in these situations? Of course it was a lovely view, Jou was a handsome young man. Young. YOUNG. He mentally whacked himself for thinking anything suggestive like this, before he coughed, and gently pushed up as he rested on his elbows. "As long as you are okay..." he replied to get over the awkward moment.

"I'm fine," he nodded slightly, cheek lightly flushed as honey eyes, swimming with emotion, gazed back at the deep azure. He seemed unable to move from his gaze, drawn into the eyes of the one he cared for most.

"..." Seto swallowed, then looked down, breaking the gaze. "Um...perhaps we should call the teaching a wrap for today..."

"...? Huh? Oh, yeah..." he murmured, blushing faintly and sitting up. Gah, why didn't he just tell Seto how he felt?? That had been his perfect chance!!

Seto sat up awkwardly, before he got to his feet fluidly, and held his hand out to help him up. "Sorry about that." he murmured.

"It's okay," he assured him, taking his hand with a nod. "I didn't mind." Gods, did the brunet have any idea how much he affected him? He gazed up with almost lustful honey eyes, a faint pink tinge to his cheeks.

If the brunette did know it, he dutifully ignored it and stuffed it in the back of his mind for Jou's youngness as Seto nodded, before glancing away. "Are you hungry?" he asked.

'For you? Always.' "Not really," he shook his head, smiling slightly. "Can we just watch a movie or something for a bit? I'm a little tired."

"Of course. I can imagine you're tired, after all that dancing." he replied, before giving a small smile. "What would you like to watch?"

"Anything is good," he said with a nod as he turned off the CD. "You have any preferences...?"

Seto shook his head. "Whatever you'd like." he replied as he padded to the TV, turning on the remote.

"I guess...Pirates of the Caribbean...?"

"Alright, then." he nodded, crouching down before the DVD rack and plucking out the movie, a slim digit pushing open the tray as his other hand opened the case.

Jou ached for him with every delicate move he made, wishing for any god to somehow help him show Seto he cared for him so as he watched him mutely.

Unknowing of the blonde's stress, Seto straightened and popped the DVD into the player, before he turned and headed back to the couch, glancing at him with a small smile. "Don't just stand there..." he replied with a light chuckle.

"Oh, right!" he grinned sheepishly, plopping down beside the brunet and lying against him lightly.

"Silly koinu..." he murmured softly, tousling the golden hair lightly with an affectionate hand.

The blonde just stuck his tongue out at him and poked his side--only he and Mokuba knew he was extremely ticklish.

A light gasp broke from the CEO's lips, and he jerked, leaning back from the poking finger. "Hey now...none of that...!" he protested.

Jou just grinned as he suddenly leapt at him, tickling his sides mercilessly.

"Jou...!" Seto near-squeaked in surprise, before his body convulsed, and he squirmed, trying not to laugh, but it was a losing battle. A full, no-holds-barred laugh burst from his lips, and he squirmed helplessly. "K-koinu...! No f-fair...!"

Jou just laughed along with him, not letting up his 'attack' for a moment as he 'tortured' the brunet. He sat on his legs to pin them down as he laughed in amusement.

Seto fell back to the seat of the couch, gasping in his laughter as he writhed under those too-knowing hands. "Y-you're horrible...!" he protested around a laugh.

"I know," he grinned as he continued on his assault. That is, until a sudden twist from Seto broke his balance and he fell right on top of Seto. Jou grunted slightly against the lips--'Nani?!' his eyes flew wide when he realized their position. He was leant over Seto, kissing him!!

A surprised gasp was muffled by the joining of lips, and Seto's eyes widened more than they'd ever had, the blue of them nearly taking over as his body stiffened automatically, making a muffled sound of shock against the other's lips. Okay...that wasn't a good idea to squirm like that.

Jou's cheeks burned a bright red as he gazed with equal surprise. But, this was what he wanted, right?? Gathering up his courage, he let his eyes slip shut as he pressed into the kiss timidly.

"....!!..." To say that Seto was shocked would've been an understatement. He was struck numb when he felt the other's lips press against his more, actually initiating a kiss. His mind spun, and then started screaming how wrong this was. After all, he was fourteen, after all, and besides that, he was his guardian, he couldn't do this! It wouldn't be right...wouldn't...damn...why did the other's lips have to be so soft, it was distracting him...was he...kissing back...?

Jou nearly cried out with joy when Seto began responding to the kiss, his lips soft upon his own as he slowly poured out his passion and love to him, the kiss deepening, but not going much further.

Again, he gasped when the blond kissed him as such, shocked to the roots of his soul at the touch, before his brain decided to wake up from being offline, promptly screamed at him for allowing this to go on, and he turned his head, breaking the kiss. "Gomen..." he whispered. "Jou...don't...it's not right."

"...N-nani...?" he blinked slowly, surprised at the sudden end of such a wonderful kiss.

"Jou...I'm your guardian. I shouldn't take advantage of you like that. Besides...you're younger than I am"

"Not by that much...! It's only 2 years' difference! And I'm 14!" Jou protested.

"You're still young. It wouldn't be right." he murmured, looking aside. "I don't want to confuse you...but...things like this...it's wrong in human society. You're still considered a minor. A child."

"But I'm 14! I'm already of the legal consent age, and you're only a little older than me!" Jou said. "I wanted to kiss you!"

That caused Seto to turn back to him and blink. "You did?"

"Y-yes," he blushed slightly with a nod. "I did it on my own free will."

"...Why...?"

"I...I've liked you...a lot...for a while," he said honestly. "I love being with you, near you, and I want it to always be like that. Seto...I've been infatuated with you for as long as I can remember," he mumbled.

"Jou..." he murmured, blinking at him in surprise, before he flushed faintly and chewed on the inside of his lip. "It would still be wrong...people would disapprove..."

"People hardly know I exist," Jou reasoned. "I really like you, Seto... I don't care what anyone would think."

"..." Seto sighed after a moment, and lifted his hand to touch his cheek. "And what if you met someone your own age? What then?"

"Don't worry about 'what ifs," Jou shook his head, nuzzling his hand. "I'll always be loyal to you, Seto."

"Koinu..." he murmured softly, a digit caressing his cheek. "You're such a good person...why would you be interested in someone like me?"

"Because you're a good person. You're never mean or hurtful to me, and you're always there for me. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't of found me... I owe you my life, and I don't ever want to be away from you."

"Jou..." he murmured softly, before he leaned and kissed his nose softly. "You're the one that's good...you deserve the world."

"I only want you," he shook his head.

"I don't know why you would...but thank you." Seto replied, caressing his cheek gently. "I'm flattered...more than I can say."

"I'm just glad you don't hate me for liking you this way," he said with a small smile.

"I could never hate you, koinu. You should know that, by now." he murmured softly.

"I know, but I couldn't help worrying..." he admitted. "Seto...do...you feel the same...about me?"

"I..." Seto paused in thought, quiet for a few moments, before he spoke again. "Part of me is questioning why I'm even encouraging this, when I know it's wrong in peoples' eyes...you're so young, and it's not right to take advantage of someone's emotions. But...I know you're a very handsome young man, and I'd have to be blind to not notice that. While it feels wrong to my mind, the part that loves you says it couldn't be wrong. Does that make sense?"

"...Kind of," he nodded with a half-smile. "You always told me to listen to my heart, because it knows best. So that's why I don't care if anyone would frown upon it," he smiled. "I think I'm in love with you, Seto Kaiba."

That caused the brunette's eyes to widen. "Love...?" he echoed softly, gazing at him.

"...Hai," he nodded softly. "I feel warm in my heart every time I'm near you, like I can't stop smiling."

The emotion was pretty much foreign to him. Besides Jou and Mokuba, he wasn't close to anyone, nor had anyone ever been close to him. To know that someone...*loved* him...made him feel a little more human. "Jou..." he breathed, before he pulled the blond closer and hugged him gently.

Jou felt his tail wagging happily and he nuzzled the brunet, hugging him back as best he could on top of the CEO.

He kissed his forehead softly, stroking the soft golden strands before scratching lightly at his ears. "Are you...sure about this?" he questioned a bit hesitantly. "I mean...not to make fun of your feelings or anything, but what if it's just a little crush?"

Jou murred happily, shaking his head. "No, I've felt like this for a long time... I know I love both you and Mokuba, but it's different than liking Mokuba, like...I couldn't be without you."

Seto blinked again, surprised at that, before he tilted his head curiously. "Is that what caused your...um...problem at the mall...?"

Jou felt his cheeks heat up. "...Um...yes..."

"Oh...gomen..." Seto murmured, feeling his own cheeks warm. "I never meant to make things difficult, koinu..."

"I-it's okay," he assured him, lying his head down. "I just wasn't prepared for it."

He stroked his head gently. "The pains of growing up. Hn. I never went through them, really, I was too busy trying to run a business."

"Oh. Do you have any advice on when I...um...get excited...?" he blushed heavily.

Seto pinkened faintly. "They say...erm...taking care of it yourself works..." he murmured.

"...Take care...?" Okay, so he didn't know much about *that* sort of thing. Shaddap.

The CEO's face became the hue of a strawberry. "Masturbation, is the term...when you...uh...take your own...ah...problem in hand and..." He coughed. "...work it out."

"..." he just flushed, blinking slightly. "...Don't get it," he blushed.

"Oboy..." Seto muttered, before he took a breath, and reached a hand down, and pressed it gently to Jou's groin. "Here. When you're...excited, your hand will be the substitute for anything else and give you pleasure..." he murmured softly. "Understand that?"

Jou's cheeks went a bright red as he felt Seto touch him there, ears and tail perking right up in surprise. "U-um..."

He hesitated, then wrapped his fingers around him lightly through the material of his pants. "How does it feel?" he asked quietly, trying not to get embarrassed. He was just teaching the koinu something...think of it like showing the ropes to a rookie at work...or not. He didn't go *this* far!

Jou gave a breathless sort of gasp, flushing. "G-good!" he panted.

"When you're...worked up, your hand goes like this..." Seto replied, before he gently stroked his hand up and down the other, swallowing down a gulped sound. This was beyond stupid to do...but how else would Jou learn?

"H-haaah," he nodded faintly, form trembling slightly as his hips lifted into the hand.

'Don't focus on that...gods, don't focus on how good he looks...!' the brunette told himself furiously, licking his lips as his eyes strayed to the inujin's movements, anyway. He was just teaching...just teaching...that's it...! "When you're able to work out the...eh...problem, then you will find relief." he muttered.

"D-does it f-feel as good as th-this does...??" he stuttered out, panting as he was all-too aware of his own problem that had developed.

"Should...although it probably...um...feels better when someone else does it." he replied, trying to keep calm and businesslike, but the blond wasn't helping, squirming as he was.

"H-honto...?" he gasped softly, panting a little heavier now as he shifted on the brunet's lap. He looked at the brunet with hazy, lustful eyes.

Seto nodded, biting down on his lip as he gazed at him.

"C-could you...?" he blushed heavily, looking quite aroused by everything that had conspired.

Seto, by that point, gulped as he took in the delicious, flushed features. "What, koinu...?" he whispered.

"H-help...?" he asked heatedly, still feeling his palm against his erection.

"If...you want me to..." the brunette murmured, caught between embarrassment and pleasure.

"H-hai," he nodded shakily.

"As you wish..." Seto murmured softly as he nodded, before he pressed the heel of his hand to the blond, tilting his hand in a soothing motion.

Jou ducked his head as his hands went to Seto's shoulders, a look of pleasure on his face as he pushed into the hand with a faint keen.

"Shh, koinu..." he whispered gently, letting him hold onto him as his fingers pressed, caressed, stroked and receded, only to come back again.

"H-haaaaaahhh...!" he gasped faintly, lying heavily against him as he pushed into the delicious movement Seto's hand made. His whole body was on fire! He gave another keening gasp, form trembling slightly.

He kissed his cheek soothingly, then moved his other hand lightly, undoing the other's pants with a blush. "Here...so you don't...ehm...ruin your pants..." he whispered.

"N-nn, p-please, S-Seto..." he moaned, shifting restlessly on the other's lap. "F-feel...so h-hot..." he panted, pressing against him.

"Shhh..." the brunette murmured gently as he worked the garment off. He reeeeeally shouldn't do this...really shouldn't...but he wanted to soothe his poor puppy...he pushed off the niggling thought that he was doing this for himself, too, before his fingers found and caressed his tail gently.

Jou's hips bucked as a pleasure-filled gasp left his mouth. "Gods!" There was even more heat, now, as he panted heavily, naked from the waist down as he pressed closer yet to Seto with a moan of pleasure. "Nnn...! S-Seto!" he keened, looking every bit as angelic and beautiful as ever as he ground against the brunet.

That did it. Seto forgot how to breathe at that moment. He could do nothing but gaze up at Jou in awe, eyes catching every nuance of the blonde's movements, from the way the golden strands of hair seemed to flay around his head like a halo, to the way the soft ears stood at attention, the parted lips that gasped his name so sweetly and the way the body arched into his hands.

Lord...Jou wasn't a inujin, he was a tenshi. He licked his lips slightly, before his hand slipped between the innocent blonde's legs and caressed his arousal gently, but firmly, with a sturdy stroke as his other fingers played with the soft tail in rhythm.

The inujin arched with an euphoric cry, eyes closed as blonde hair flew about his flushed face. He gripped Seto's shoulders desperately; bucking once more into the wonderful touch that set his senses ablaze. He moaned, keening for Seto with pleading cries of pleasure as he bucked once more at the sensations swarming his form.

He paused, then leaned forward to whisper against his sensitive ear, nuzzling the soft fold. "Come for me, koinu..." he murmured, low, soft, near-growling as his fingers squeezed, then moved faster. "Show me your pleasure."

"Nnn...!" Jou wrapped his arms around Seto's neck in a hug-like motion, suddenly arching for the final time with a cry of ecstasy. He spilt his seed over Seto's hands, body convulsing as he clung to Seto in pure pleasure. He could barely breath it was so intense! He choked out a gasp of pleasure, every nerve of his body on fire.

Blue eyes watched the curve of the blonde's back arch in a most delightful way, his fingers slick and warm with the other's release as he stroked out the last of the sweet reaction, murmuring softly, soothingly against his ear as he let go of his tail and stroked his back gently.

Jou fell against him, trembling in the after shocks of his release with a shaky whimper. G-gods that had been like nothing he could ever fathom! He could feel his heart racing as he struggled to regain his breath, still coming down from his high.

His fingers slipping from the blonde's softening member, Seto looped his arm around Jou's back, gazing at him in concern. "Are you okay?" he whispered softly.

He nodded mutely, giving a faint whimper as he slumped against the CEO. "G-god...nothing...felt..." he panted, body covered in a light sheen of sweat.

He smirked lightly, teasingly as he stroked Jou's hair gently. "I'm glad you enjoyed It." he replied with a slight chuckle, feeling his cheeks flush with a blush despite himself.

"E-enjoyed...doesn't even describe," he mumbled into Seto's shirt.

Seto gave another low laugh, the sound vibrating against Jou as he stroked the blonde's hair and back.

"Well...that's what masturbation is like...only by yourself." he replied.

"L-like this better," he flushed with a shiver, hugging him loosely now.

"Mm...is that so?" he murmured softly. "I admit I like it, as well."

"H-honto...? B-but I didn't see you masturbate," he said through half-lidded eyes

"I gain pleasure from your pleasure, koinu. That I made you feel good." Seto whispered with a tender kiss to his forehead.

"Oh," he flushed lightly, giving the tiniest hints of a smile. "Ah...may I go shower, Seto...?" he asked. "I'm kinda sticky..." It was true. Parts of his release that Seto's hand didn't catch had dripped down his legs, coating them with tiny rivets of white seed.

The brunette pinkened slightly, and nodded as he released him. "Of course."

Jou moved to support himself, flushing when his legs felt like jelly. "U-um...could you carry me, Seto...? I can't seem to make my legs works," he admitted.

He muffled a chuckle. "I would imagine." he murmured, before he sat up, scooped the blond up into his arms and stood, cradling him against his chest.

A faint pink dusted his cheeks, but he relaxed almost instantly in his arms, cuddling up easily as his tail wagged lazily.

"Content, koinu?" the CEO replied as he snatched up Jou's pants, and headed upstairs.

"Mmm...hai," he smiled softly.

"I admit you do look less troubled." Seto replied as he headed up the steps, careful to not trip with the blond. "How long has this been bothering you? Keeping this in, I mean?"

"Almost as long as I can remember," he said softly. "I adored you when I was younger, and it grew into something more as time went on."

"I'm sorry I didn't see it, Jou. Or perhaps not wanting to. I still see you as that adorable little puppy cuddling up to me."

"Hey, you sayin' I'm not cute?" he grinned teasingly.

"No." Seto replied, then smiled at him. "You're beautiful, now."

"...Thanks," he blushed softly, looking up at him with the love and adoration he had done on so many occasions.

Now that he was looking at Jou--really looking at him, and not just seeing what he wanted to see--it touched the CEO's heart that the blond could gaze at him with such emotion. He had to swallow down a lump in his throat, in fact, and he leaned and kissed him, very softly, as he topped the steps.

Jou returned it just as softly, one hand gently cupping his cheek as petal-soft lips met in a sweet kiss.

Feeling that gentle hand against his cheek, where none but Mokuba have touched him, Seto gave a low sound of pleasure and nuzzled his hand, enjoying the kiss, and keeping it simple as he nipped lightly at his bottom lip, then drew back as he gazed at him. "You're something special...you know that, koinu?" he murmured softly.

He nodded, smiling as he pecked his cheek. "So are you."

"I am?" came the low, slightly-self-mocking reply as he headed for his bedroom, and by that way, his bathroom. "Only you and Mokuba would think that."

"I don't think so," he smiled. "I'm sure there are other people who would like you if you gave them a chance."

"Easier said than done, koinu." A soft sigh fluttered from his lips as he travelled through the bedroom and nudged the bathroom door open. "I'm not exactly a people person."

"You seem nice enough to me," he smiled, tail wagging lightly, his ears perked up.

"That's because you're close to me." he murmured gently as he set him on the sink, kissing his nose. Was it only a year ago that he'd bathed Jou in his sink, and he'd been small enough to fit in there? How time did fly.

"Other people could be if you let 'em," he pointed out as he smiled.

"Perhaps." Seto murmured as he gave a small, though warm smile back to him, then turned to prepare the shower for him. "Think you can stand now, koinu?"

"Hai," he nodded, carefully getting to his feet with only a slight tremble. His lower nudity didn't affect him at all, as he smiled up at Seto.

However, the brunette wasn't as uncaring as he gazed at the blond, blushed, and averted his eyes. "Then I'll leave you to it." he murmured.

"Okay, but you should change your pants," he commented. "I kinda got some on you, too."

He turned a bit pinker at that and nodded as he headed for the door.

Jou could only beam in happiness as he pulled his shirt over his head. Seto liked him back!!!

Closing the door behind him, Seto leaned against it, before drawing a hand through his hair. He had to be out of his mind...far too much alone time spent in his office to be attracted to the one he was supposed to be looking out for, one that was younger than him, to boot. He shook his head, and headed to his closet to change his pants, still smelling the unique scent of the blond around him.

Said blonde was unaware of the brunet's inner arguments, humming happily as he bathed himself, washing away the seed on his legs, and the sweat from his body. Aaaah, clean!

Changing out of the soiled pants, leaving him in silk black boxers and his shirt, Seto crouched before his closet as he dug for a pair of pants that wasn't work clothes, muttering to himself as he dug around. "Mokuba must've been in here again to look for that box of stuff, again..." he murmured to himself. His neat and tidy closet was a mess.

Not five minutes later, the shower stopped as the blonde inujin climbed out, sopping wet with his hair plastered to his face. "Seto, do you have a towel??" he called lightly. "There's none in here!"

Still not having any luck, Seto sighed and stood from tearing apart his closet, before he called back, "Just a sec!" and padded over to the storage closet, pulling out a towel and heading to the bathroom, opening the door and pushing his hand through. "Here, Jou..."

"Thanks," he smiled as he took the towel, quickly drying his hair first--before it got all tangled and icky.

He closed the door again--before he saw anything he shouldn't--and headed back for his closet, resting his hands on his boxer-clad hips as he muttered something about his pants going to the Bermuda Triangle.

Body dried--somewhat, anyway,--the blonde wrapped the towel about his waist as he walked back into the room, blinking at the state of closet. "Yikes."

"My brother was in the closet, again." Seto replied, amusement in his voice. "I can never find anything when he's in there. Just to find a decent, casual pair of pants..." he snorted.

"Black...?" He sniffed for a moment longer, before digging in a pile and producing said jeans. "These ones?"

"You..." Seto blinked, before he chuckled softly. "Amazing. I swear I went through these piles like four times."

"Heh, I guess canine DNA comes in handy, ne?" he grinned.

"I'd say so." he chuckled lightly, before he took the jeans from him and pulled them on. It wasn't often that he wore jeans, but these were his favourites. Worn in just right, faded in some places, and fit just as he wanted them. Not too tight and not too loose, wrapping to his body like a lover as he sighed. "Ah, better."

Jou smiled faintly at him, hugging Seto's arm. "Ne, Seto?"

"Yes, koinu?" he replied as he gazed at him.

"...Um...how far is our...relationship...?" he asked softly.

Seto paused in thought, then chewed at his lip absently before he cleared a spot on the bed and sat down with him. "A fair question, Jou. One I'm not sure I can answer. You're so young...and very innocent. I don't want to take things too far...not yet. It wouldn't be fair...when you know nothing of this sort of thing."

"I'm not young...!" he protested lightly. "I'm only 2 years younger!" In appearance, anyway.

"Perhaps, but you didn't even know what masturbation was." Seto replied softly, his cheeks pinkening faintly. "And yes, I take the blame for that, since you're to stay here to remain safe, but..." he sighed softly. "I just don't want to push things too fast."

"That wasn't too fast...!" he blushed lightly. "I liked it."

"Whether you liked it or not, koinu...you're only a few years older than Mokuba, barely, and I wouldn't want my little brother engaging in such...activities yet. So how can I be hypocritical and ask of you the same thing?"

"Well, technically you didn't ask me, and there's an age difference, so it's not the same," he pointed out. "I like being with you Seto, and when you-" he blushed here, "touched me like that...I'd never felt like that before! I felt closer to you then I ever did before..."

The brunette turned a bit of a brighter pink at that and rubbed at his neck awkwardly with one hand. "I can't deny that I enjoyed it, koinu. But you're young, and when you're that age...starting into crushes and feelings of love and all, it's easy to get lost in the rush of it, and maybe a little confused."

"Seto, I've never met anyone I care for more," Jou said as he hugged the brunet. "Every time I'm near you, I'm happy. I don't think it's just a crush at all."

"Jou..." Seto murmured softly, before he sighed and embraced him, stroking his hair. "No one has ever loved me like this. Mokuba, yes, but in a different way. You can understand why I'm a bit hesitant...?"

"Yeah," he nodded faintly as he nuzzled his neck. "I promise I'd never hurt you, Seto. I just want to be with you, not matter who cares or not."

He nodded, kissing his forehead. "I understand. But please...let's take this slow? I do not want to wreck things so quickly and have it blow up in my face."

Jou studied him for a while, before sighing and nodding with a loving smile. "Okay," he said. He was just happy they were together!-well, sorta.

Seto tousled his hair affectionately, then nudged at him. "Go on and get dressed, koinu." he murmured softly.

"Okay, okay," he stuck out his tongue at him, stealing a quick kiss before he left the room, giddy with happiness.

The brunette watched him leave, then sighed, flopping back onto the bed. It was crazy to even think like this...but yet, it felt so very right. He smiled softly at the way Jou was with him, then shook off the thoughts before he had his...*cough*...own problem, and sat back up, standing to clean up his room again.

******

Jou hummed idly from his place on the couch. Seto went to work, and Mokuba was at school, and he had finished all his lessons for today. He was bored, and when bored, his thoughts usually turned to that of a certain blue-eyed CEO. He felt his cheeks gain a faint pinkish hue to them as he remembered his dream last night. It had only been a week since Seto had 'taught' him how to please himself, but the 'lesson' had also helped form a few nice dreams in the head of the inujin. He had woken up with soiled sheets for the third time that week.

He gazed lazily up at the ceiling, feel his body heat up as he remembered his dream, how Seto had masturbated for him, then pleasured Jou before mounting the blonde.

Jou gave a faint groan, wetting his lips as a hand fell to the growing bulge in his pants. The servants had the day off, and Seto was at work, so no one could see him. He flushed a little deeper as he rubbed the bulge.

As the blond entertained his thoughts, an unsuspecting CEO grumbled to himself as the limo pulled up to the mansion, rolling his eyes. "How in the world I could forget the documents when I laid them right on the kitchen table, I'll never know." he growled to himself in irritation as the limo pulled up, and he got out, closing the door as he headed to the door. "Might as well forget my head, too, while I'm at it...hn...it's all Jou's fault."

Well...it sort of was...the experience with the blond and his feelings had him a bit flustered, that he was forgetting quite a few things. He even forgot his laptop, shock of shocks. Not that he would blame Jou, oh no...not even in the slightest.

Jou didn't even hear the door open, too engrossed in his own...er...activities as he freed his length, legs spread wantonly as he pumped his length with his hand, much like Seto had down.

His head down slightly as he entered, the brunette lifted it at a strange, choked sound from the couch--before his eyes widened, struck still by the shocking, utterly gorgeous sight before him as his breath hitched to a stop in his throat, his hand stuck on the doorknob. Oh kami...if this wasn't a sight to come home to...!

Jou gasped in his own self-given pleasure, hips bucking into his hand as his head fell back with a cry of ecstasy. His free hand gripped the arm of the couch for support as he rubbed his thumb over his tip, body spasming for a moment as he faulted with a sharp cry.

Seto, most definitely, forgot to breathe at the moment. Again, he was struck by the other's beauty, as his briefcase fell from nerveless fingers with a soft thump to the floor as he absently closed the door behind him, transfixed.

The sound of the other's briefcase dropping caused the blonde's ear to flick at the sound, before Jou cracked open lust-filled eyes, and his cheeks darkened several shades. 'S-Seto?!' Somehow, the thought of the brunet watching him only made it even more pleasurable as he gasped again, crying out the brunet's name as he felt his edge approaching.

Seto felt a prickling down south on his own body at the blonde's reactions, licking his lips, before he somehow got his legs to move and stumbled slightly before heading to the inujin on the couch, completely and totally at a loss for words as blue eyes blazed down at him, hot, and hungry.

Jou gazed up at the brunet with his own eyes, full of lust and arousal, right before he suddenly tensed, throwing back his head with a scream of the other's name as his seed spilled over his hands.

He nearly jumped at the other's cry, his eyes widening once again at the scream as his cheeks flamed slightly at the sound of his name, before his eyes trained on the strained body, and the spray of release that looked somewhat like a geyser and utterly lickable. Documents? What documents? He wanted a taste of koinu...straight from the tap. He ignored the reasonable side of him screaming that this was sooooo very wrong, before he sat down beside him, taking his hand lightly in his and cleaning it off gently with his tongue.

Jou looked up with a flushed face, chest heaving with heavy breaths as his face darkened. "S...Seto..." he panted, still trembling lightly in the aftershocks of his release.

He cleaned every digit with a purr of pleasure, deciding he liked his taste, before he let go of his hand with a sort of seductive smile, then lowered his head, lips parting and fastening to the quivering arousal, cleaning it off diligently with slow, gentle swaths of his tongue.

Jou felt his cheeks practically burn as he gasped in pleasure, both hands gripping the couch now. "S-Seto-!!" Gods, please don't let this be another dream!

But if the gentle scrape of teeth against the half-hard flesh was a dream, then Seto was having one hell of a dream, as well. Jou tasted like manna from heaven...sweet, tangy, really, not the least bit bitter. Perhaps it was the mix of his blood, but he could get hooked on his sweet taste.

Jou gasped again, arching. "Seto!!" he cried out, feel as if he might climax again from everything.

Seto purred at his reaction, blue eyes drifting up as to gaze at him as his tongue flicked over the tip of his arousal.

Jou gave a sharp gasp, followed by a loud cry as he found his hands clutching Seto's hair as he felt a tightness grow in the pit of his stomach.

Not minding the hands in his hair in the slightest, Seto purred at the reaction, feeling the body tense beneath him before he took a breath with his nose and deep-throated him, teeth grazing against the underside of the other's arousal as he swirled his tongue around him quickly, then slowly, then quick again as he suckled on him.

Jou could take no more, whimpering beneath his ministrations. He bucked his hips one last time, Seto's name ringing throughout the hose once more as he found the release that Otogi had tried to claim from him, throwing his head back with a cry.

Again, that sweet, tangy liquid rushed his mouth, and he lapped it up as if it were some exquisite dessert, catching every drop with his tongue and swallowing, moaning in pleasure as he worked every bit of essence from him, then gently cleaned him up after, before easing back and releasing him, licking his lips and looking like a very-satisfied cat as he gazed at him.

Jou gazed back, panting heavily as clouded and sated honey orbs gleamed lightly. "S...Set...o..." he flushed lightly. He hadn't been expected the brunet to be back until much, much later.

"You never cease to amaze me, koinu..." he whispered softly, before he leaned and kissed him gently.

His words died at the kiss, replying softly and murring faintly. Well...this was an odd thing to happen. Nonetheless, it would definitely cause a few more dreams to 'pop-up'.

He cupped the blonde's cheek gently, before he reluctantly pulled back from those sweet lips. "You're quite a distraction. I came back because I left some papers on the kitchen table..." He then smirked lightly. "And I come home to this...mmm...naughty koinu." he teased lightly as he stood.

The blonde felt his cheeks get warm all over against as he sat up shakily, still breathing a little heavier than normal. "I-I didn't...think you'd be...home so soon," he mumbled.

"You've got my brain scrambled, I've forgotten some important papers." he replied as he tried to not look at the blond, but was having a bit of trouble trying to get his eyes away. "Not that I'm complaining, of course..." he murmured as he headed to the kitchen, picked up the papers that were lying there so innocently, and headed back.

"...Are you going back?" he asked, blinking through hazy eyes as he watched the CEO.

"I probably should." Seto murmured as he turned around in a semi-circle, lost for a moment, before he snapped his fingers and picked up his briefcase by the door to stick the papers in.

"..." Jou thought for a moment, before he realized the brunet had developed his own problem. He snuck up behind him, before cupping the bulge from behind, and rubbing it lightly. He wanted to make Seto fell like he did when the brunet did this to him.

Seto gasped sharply, his eyes widening at the other's hands where he'd been trying to forget. He groaned softly, and again, the briefcase dropped from his fingers to the floor, the document of papers fluttering after. "J-Jou.." he murmured, closing his eyes.

"I...I want to make you feel just like you make me feel," he said softly, caressing the prominent bulge with deft fingers. He gripped him just enough to send shocks through the CEO's system, looking up with a slight blush to his cheeks.

A sharp breath tripped from his lips as his back arched, his lips parting with a moan as his hips bucked up into the other's hands. "Nn...you'll...h-have...no problems, there.." he breathed, feeling his legs shake at the rush of pleasure that shot through him.

Jou didn't say anything, though he looked pleased to see Seto reacting much how he had done, and led him back to the couch, coaxing him to sit down as he rubbed his crotch again.

Falling more than sitting, Seto grunted as he plopped into the couch, gazing up at him with half-open blue eyes, shuddering as his head fell back against the back of the couch.

Jou knelt before him, undoing the button to his pants and sliding the zipper down to free the teen's massive erection jutting from his boxer's fly.

Seto groaned quietly, giving a small sound of relief as he bit his lip, shivering. "Koinu...you...don't have to…do this..." he murmured shakily.

"I know," he nodded. "But I want to." Now if only he knew what the heck he was doing. "...Can you tell me how to...um...do what you did?" he asked with a faint blush.

He laughed quietly, finding his innocence endearing. "Do you remember how you touched yourself...?" he murmured, blushing faintly.

"Yes," he nodded with a small blush akin to Seto's.

"Then use the same technique on me...I assure you...you won't go wrong." Seto murmured with a soothing smile.

"I-I meant...um...what...what Otogi did," he flushed. "I wanna try that."

Blue eyes widened in realization, and he turned a little pinker. "Oh!" he breathed. "Um...that…might be a bit too much for you, koinu.." he warned softly.

"But I want to," he flushed. "I want to show you just what you make me feel, Seto."

"..." Seto gazed at him, before he reached out and caressed his hair softly. "All right. Well...just...don't try to force yourself, koinu. Go at the speed that's comfortable for you." Kami, how did one instruct someone to give head? He flushed faintly. "Just try...to get used to it first…the feel of it on your tongue, for starters." he murmured, turning a bright pink in slight embarrassment.

"Okay," he nodded, before leaning over and giving him an experimental lick, from base to tip.

He gasped at the wet, warm touch, shuddering as his muscles quivered, forcing himself to not buck up. "O-okay..." he nearly squeaked, trying to maintain control as his hands gripped on the couch. "V-very g-good, koinu..." he murmured.

Encouraged by his reaction, the blonde inujin repeated the action, this time flicking his tongue against the tip of Seto's erection, hands finding the insides of Seto's thighs to steady himself.

He had to squinch his eyes shut on that one and bite down on his lip to not cry out, breathing through his nose as he swallowed hard, his head falling back. He felt his hips jerk slightly in an uncontrollable motion, and whimpered faintly, his face flushing as heat shot through his body.

"Am I doing it right?" he asked, pausing only to ask the question as he licked him again, using one hand to hold the pulsating length in one hand as he swirling his tongue around him again. Kinda like a lollipop, he mused idly.

Blue eyes fluttered closed, before he nodded firmly, swallowing again. "P-perfect, k-k-koinu..."

Okay, go at his own pace... Jou looked up at Seto with honey eyes to watch his reaction as he took a bit of his length into his mouth, sucking on the hot rod.

That, of course, caused his eyes to snap right back open again, and Seto jerked with a gasp, holding onto the couch beneath him for dear life. "Oh gods..." he keened softly, nearly going cross-eyed at the sensation.

'I guess he likes that,' he thought as he took in more of the thick cock, sucking the whole while and swirling his tongue about him. If Seto's cried weren't enough, the look in his eyes was. They were hazed over, a deep azure and clouded with lust and pleasure.

He felt the heat in his body rise, and he breathed Jou's name, his cheeks flushing as he took a deep breath. The muscles in his thighs quivered and jerked under one of the blonde's hands, signaling his pleasure and approval as his fingers dug into the seat in order to not grab the other's head and thrust maddeningly. He tamped down the urge firmly, his vision fuzzy around the edges as he gazed at him.

His tail wagged faintly as he saw the pleasure in Seto's eyes, cheeks coloring lightly as he continued to suck around him. What had Otogi done before...? Oh yeah! He pulled back slowly, sucking before he moved back down on his length. This created a bobbing motion with his head as he rubbed the base of Seto's cock with his hand.

A sharp breath was mixed with a surprised, though pleased-sounding cry as his eyes widened at the jolt of heat, and he jerked up slightly, careful to not move too much and choke him. "J-Jou…!" he gasped out softly.

Jou's eyes glinted with a feeling of excitement, and he increased his action tenfold, running his tongue over the other's slit by accident once or twice.

Those accidental touches just served to up the pleasure more, and he gave another helpless cry, throwing back his head as heat shot down through his belly, gathering low. "Nn...Jou...un...unless...you want your m-mouth...to…be filled with...something other than w-water...I su-suggest letting go, now..." he panted.

"Nn?" he blinked around his length, unaware of the effect a vibration around his length could cause as he sucked only slightly now, looking up at Seto. Gods, he looked positively beautiful like that, hair mussed around and his cheeks flushed.

Lashes fluttered at the vibration, and the CEO couldn't help but cry out again, arching his back as a roar of heat shot through his body, flinging him into a helpless state of euphoria as his hips bucked slightly, the warning coming to a choked halt on his lips as he came, throwing his head back as his length pulsed, then released into the other's mouth.

"Nngh!!" Jou was more than a little unprepared for the sudden burst of salty liquid that splashed over him, coughing slightly as he pulled back, flushing slightly as he realized what it was. "..." Actually, it didn't taste that bad... He blushed faintly. Like saltwater taffy, actually. He licked the dribbling seed from himself, then proceeded to clean the brunet off as well, so there would be none no his pants.

Seto whimpered softly, his body as weak as a kitten as he sank down onto the couch, his eyes closing as he gasped for air, shivering in pleasure at the soft tongue cleaning him up. "G...gomen..." he whispered. "Tr-tried to...warn you..."

"S'kay," he said around licks, until he was satisfied that Seto was clean, crawling up beside him on the couch and nuzzling his chest faintly. "Did I do okay?"

"M-more than okay..." Seto murmured with a soft smile, wrapping an arm around him and drawing him close.

Jou fairly beamed at that, tail wagging as he snuggled contently into the brunet's embrace with a murr of happiness. He wondered if this counted as moving too fast...?

Seto wasn't of the right mind to consider it. His body was more relaxed than it had been in the longest time, so it was natural that he dozed off, his face buried into the soft golden hair of the other.

Of course, like master like puppy, and soon Jou found his way into the land of dreams, snuggled atop the brunet's lap, straddling him practically as he cuddled close. That had been a...pleasant surprise to say the very least.

*******

Mokuba blinked at the black limo as he arrived home. Seto was home this early?? "Wow," he commented, shifting his backpack slightly as he walked up to the house, and unlocked the door with his house key. "Niisama?" he called. "Jou?" Huh. No answer. He peeked his head in the living room and nearly had a heart attack, catching the sight of the blonde pup straddling his brother, wearing no pants as he slept the brunet in about the same condition as him. He gave a muffled squeak, cheeks flaming as he dropped his backpack, and quickly darted from the scene with a fierce blush. He didn't know that like each other *that* much!!

He was officially never sitting on the couch again.

Jou shifted slightly as a result of the bag falling to the groan, groaning faintly and blinking sleepy honey eyes open with a slight shift. "...Nnn...?"

Seto muttered and growled something to the affect of firing all the board members in KaibaCorp--that or screwing the blond, considering his colorful choice of words as he opened his eyes slowly, then closed him with a grumble. "What is it..?" he mumbled.

"Think I heard Moku-kun..." he mumbled against his chest, yawning faintly before shifting again and nuzzling Seto's neck. He did, however, blink slightly at the mentioning of something that was better interpreted as 'pounding my koinu into the bed' that what it had been originally.

The brunette muttered faintly, shivering slightly in pleasure at the nuzzle, before his brain woke up, and his eyes opened again. "Wait...did you say Mokuba...?"

"Nn-hnn," he nodded. "His scent is still here," he murmured softly.

The CEO paled as he shot up then blushed a rather lovely shade of pink. "Which means that he'd had to come through here. Which means that he saw us.." He gulped and blushed further.

"Ack!" Jou yelped, clinging to him slightly at the sudden movement. "Is that bad???"

He glanced at him as one brow lifted. "We're only half dressed, koinu. With a boy walking in on that...? I hope we didn't scar him for life."

"Being naked isn't bad," he blinked back. "It's comfy."

"...." Seto coughed. "Not everyone walks around naked, koinu. It's not proper."

"...Still," he yawned, shifting off of Seto and stretching his arms. "Oh...I think you're late for work, Seto..." he blinked, pointing at the clock.

"Far beyond late..." the brunette muttered as he glanced at the clock, tapping his fingers absently on the couch beneath him. To work or not to work? If he went now, he would just be late for dinner and not spend quality time with Jou and Mokuba. And he'd been doing that enough as it was. He chewed at his lip in thought--blushing as he put himself back together--and motioned with his head to the cell phone. "Hand me the cell, Jou..." he murmured.

"Sure," he nodded, picking up the tiny device and handing it to the brunet after a quick moment. "Here," he said. With that accomplished, he looked for his shorts, finding them discarded on the floor and dressing himself.

Gazing at him, the brunette smiled indulgently. It was hard to resist anything the blond desired, for he wanted him, as well as Mokuba, to be happy. "You'll have to disguise yourself, you know, Jou."

"I know, I know!" he nodded. "But it'll be worth it! We never go out!"

Seto chuckled softly and tousled the blond hair gently. "And how am I to argue with logic like that? We could use a break." he replied with a nod.

"Yes!" he grinned, tail wagging a hundred miles an hour. "I'll go get Mokuba!" he said excitedly, rushing off quickly in search of the probably mortified teen.

He shook his head in amusement as he stood, stretching out his arms with a yawn, before he picked up his scattered work papers and briefcase, before he waited patiently for the pair.

Of course, it was only after Jou had convinced Mokuba nothing like 'that' had happened, and that Jou had simply fallen asleep on the other. Mokuba helped him get his ears hidden, and soon, the pair were ready.

Jou was dressed in a red jacket with white arms, light blue jeans, and black shoes. He wore a long-sleeve white shirt beneath, and on his head was a toupee-like hat, much like on from a store like 'le chateau', but it matched his jacket.

Mokuba wore a blue-and white-striped, long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and red/blue shoes with a green jacket overtop.

"We're ready!" they chimed in unison, both fairly excited about going out, even if Mokuba still gained a tiny pink hue to his cheeks upon seeing his brother.

The brunette had changed out of his work clothes, with the time it took for the two to get ready, and was now dressed in a violet-blue shirt with an open collar, and black slacks. He flushed as well at the sight of Mokuba, imagining what his poor brother had seen, and smiled at them. "Shall we go?"

"Hai!" Jou replied instantly, Mokuba quick to agree with an identical grin to the blonde's.

"Where are we gonna go, Niisama??" Mokuba asked as soon as they were in the car and driving.

"Hmm...good question…" Seto mused thoughtfully, his hands on the wheel. "Any suggestions?"

"No where fancy, 'cause I'd hafta take off my hat," Jou commented.

"How about the Satori Gyoza House?" Mokuba offered. "Yuugi-kun says it's really good."

The brunette wrinkled his nose slightly at the mention of Yuugi, before he nodded. "Much as I hate to admit it..." he muttered under his breath. "...Sounds good."

"Awesome!" Jou cheered. "Step on it, Seto!" he urged.

Seto chuckled softly, but didn't step on it too much--he had two younger boys in his car, thank you very much--and pulled up to the restaurant soon after.

Jou's tail was practically going warp speed from within his pant leg, quite happy Seto had gotten over the whole Otogi ordeal. Heck, he'd probably never see the guy in life again, anyway. "C'mon, c'mon!" Jou egged as soon as he dashed from the car. "Hurry up ya slow pokes!"

Mokuba laughed, running after him and leaving Seto to close the doors with a grin.

The brunette rolled his eyes in amusement and locked up the car as he climbed out then headed out after the two younger boys.

Of course, being the impatient teens they were, they had already began to order a table, and when Seto arrived, he was whisked off by the pair to a nearby table.

"Easy, you two, don't pull my arms out of socket." he replied with a low chuckle as he let himself be pulled to the table. "The table's not going anywhere."

"So?? Can we help but get excited with you working all the time, Niisama?" Mokuba laughed, handing him a menu.

"Hai! Mokuba's right!" Jou agreed with a haste nod. "We hardly ever go out!"

"I suppose I'll have to fix that, so I don't get two sets of puppy eyes." he replied as he sat down calmly when they arrived. "I'll see if I can clear away some space more often, how's that?"

"That'd be awesome, Niisama," Mokuba smiled. "We really miss you when you're not home."

"Hai!" Jou nodded. "It's really lonely without ya," he smiled.

"Gods help me if I make you two disappointed or lonely." Seto replied with a shake of his head in amusement as he tapped a fingertip against Mokuba's nose. "I'd never hear the end of it."

"Heh, you know it!" he grinned, flicking lightly at his fingertip. He tossed Seto an appetizer menu. "Feel like getting us the spinach and artichoke dip?"

Seto wrinkled his nose slightly at the mention, and eyed the pair. "I don't know, are you going to eat it or play with it?"

"Eat, of course!" Jou laughed. "That stuff is really good!"

"If you say so." Seto murmured with a chuckle as he motioned to a waiter.

Jou and Mokuba just grinned and watched as a male waiter with black hair and glasses came over.

"Hello, how may I help you today?" he smiled kindly.

"We'd like our appetizers, please." Seto replied. "Two spinach and artichoke dips, and one chef salad with Ranch dressing."

"Right away," he nodded, eyes falling to Jou for a split second, before the man walked away. Of course, it had been too subtle for anyone who wasn't looking to notice, so Mokuba and Jou paid him no heed as they launched into a discussion about some new card game Seto's Company was promoting--Duel Monsters or something.

Seto, as well, didn't notice, too engaged in conversation over the new line of business, steeping his fingers before his chin as he watched the younger two.

"So what was the name of that big one--that looked like a big white dragon??" Jou asked, completely awed by the game.

"You're close." Seto chuckled lightly. "Blue Eyes White Dragon."

"Right! Blue Eyes!" Jou grinned. "I liked the one that looked just like him--the black one with red eyes!"

"Red Eyes Black Dragon." Seto replied. "I thought you'd like that one, it kind of reminded me of you."

"It's my favorite," he nodded with a smile. "I think it and the Blue Eyes must like each other a lot."

Seto's fingers drifted over his lips to contain a grin of amusement. "Mokuba has been saying that the Blue Eyes is like me.." he replied, his words drifting off lightly.

Jou blinked for a moment, before laughing and grinning. "Yeah, really!" Their conversation continued on for a while, nothing serious but lightly and calm as their food was delivered by the same waiter as before.

"Here you are," he said, placing each appetizer in front of those whom had ordered it.

Seto murmured his thanks as he picked up his fork, nodding to the man.

Jou was quick to take a chip and dip it into the hot dip, munching happily alongside Mokuba, who liked his just as much.

"This is great!" he grinned.

The man gave one more nod, eyeing Jou one last time before taking his leave. "Enjoy," he said.

This time, Seto noted the gaze, lifting one brow in curiosity, before he returned his gaze to the two, shaking his head in amusement. "Don't see how you can eat that.." he murmured as he stuck his fork into his salad to eat.

"Simple--it's good!" they grinned. And dinner continued on from there. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, and everything went without incident.

That is, until they all began to feel a tad queasy.

Seto massaged at his head lightly, trying to blink back his dizziness. He felt like he needed an aspirin, but yet he didn't feel like he had a headache, propping his head up slightly with his arm.

"Seto, I don't feel so good..." Jou groaned, lying his head on the table.

"I feel sick," Mokuba mumbled, holding his stomach.

"Must be...bad food here..." Seto muttered. "I'm not feeling well, myself..." He glanced at the two in concern, rubbing his head lightly. "...We should go..."

"Nnn," Jou nodded, ears drooping beneath his hat as Seto quickly paid for them, and they left without delay.

"Niisama, I feel horrible..." Mokuba groaned, holding his head as they stepped out of the restaurant.

They were all unprepared for what happened next, as several men in black spy ops outfits suddenly surrounded them. Tranquilizers were fired at them, and thought Mokuba was hit, Jou managed to knock Seto out of the way, despite his groggy state and groan, slumping to the ground as the effects of the drug laced in his food kicked in.

"Mokuba! Jou!" Seto replied as he stumbled and nearly fell to the ground, but managed to keep his feet as he lurched to his feet, moving quickly to the two.

With two down, the last was easy prey as they knocked him out from behind, and quickly carried the three off without a trace of their being there.

*****

Blackness swarmed up around Seto, making him feel as if he were lost in a pit. But in that darkness, there was also pain, and his head ached something fierce. When he found the bakas who'd induced such a splitting headache…he winced slowly, and carefully pried his eyes open, feeling as if he was suffering from a hangover, but worse.

White light would be the first thing to meet the brunet's eyes.

He was lying on a metal table in some sort of white room, arms, legs, and waist bound down so he could no escape. He was only in his pants and shirt now; everything was removed.

He was all alone in the room, until a person in a white suit came up from behind, wearing glasses and a white lab coat. They said nothing to him, writing a few things down on his clipboard before moving to a nearby table full of tiny instruments and doctor-like equipment.

"What the hell--?!" Seto bellowed as he came to his senses, then winced at the loudness of his voice, before he growled and strained at his restraints, blue eyes flashing angrily as he heard, then saw the person in the white suit, his eyes narrowing. "Release me at once!" he snapped coldly, fingers flexing as his body squirmed and struggled as he looked around, then snarled. "If you've hurt Jou or my brother, I'll make you pay."

The doctor paid him no mind, simply taking up a syringe full of some clear liquid and walking back over. "Don't move," he said as he pulled up the shirt on his right arm.

Seto growled, his eyes narrowing to angered slits before he lunged away as best he could, moving the table a few inches, at least. There was no way on earth he was going to make this easy for him and just lay there. "Let. Me. Go." he snapped out harshly.

"I'm afraid that is impossible, Mr. Kaiba," said as he pressed a button on the table, that locked it down. "Now, do stop struggling."

"Damnit!" Seto hissed angrily, arching his back and straining. "You have no right to hold me like this! I won't stand for it!"

"You don't have a say in the matter, Mr. Kaiba," he said as he pulled the shirt up, and stuck the needle into his arm. "You could have avoided all of this by simply leaving Project C-4, and not taking it into your care."

Seto hissed at the needle pricking into his skin, biting off a curse, before he glared angrily at the man. "If you're talking about Jou, he is not some sort of project. He was a scared, innocent child that you treated as nothing more than some lab rat!"

"'Jou' is hardly fitting for one of the most advance weapons we have created," he snorted as he injected the fluid into him.

"Weapon...?" Seto breathed, then snarled at him. "How dare you...he was scared, alone and friendless! He's not some sort of...machine or something that has no feelings! He was just an innocent kid, and he still is! If you've hurt him, I swear I'll make you suffer."

"A weapon has no need of such trivial things. He will be conditioned back into his original design, and then we shall have no further need to hold you here. At least, alive anyway."

He sneered at the man, his eyes glittering with malice. "If you think it'll be that easy, you're sorely mistaken. I won't be taken down by a slime ball such as you, and I won't allow you to hurt Jou or my brother. Mark my words."

"We shall see. That drug is a test. If your survive, you will be the perfect specimen yourself, and you shall live until we have found no other uses for you. However, should you perish, it is just one less thorn in our side. Good luck, Mr. Kaiba," he said, before leaving the room.

Seto snarled and struggled, fisting his hands as he worked at his bonds. He would NOT be taken down by some unfeeling monster who would use Jou in his gains...he...Gozaburo tried to take him down...break him. He failed. Yes, he hurt him. But he had his brother. And Jou. And as long as he had air in him, and his will, he wouldn't give in. He'd gone through far too much in his life, clawed his way to where he was, to give up now.

"He shows amazing resilience for just a human," one doctor commented.

"Indeed. He fared better than the younger Kaiba."

"Is he alive?"

"Yes, but just barely. He's in ICU at the moment."

"And Project C-4?"

"In conditioning. It seems he's built up quite a will, but we're working on fixing that."

"Good. Report back to me ASAP."

Seto had his own will, as well. While he could feel his body grow dizzy with whatever junk had been injected into him, his mind stayed clearly locked on two things. Jou and Mokuba. Even if he had scraped at KaibaCorp to make his living, to support Mokuba, it could go down in flames for all he cared. All he needed was his little brother and Jou, safe and sound, and the rest of the world could go hang. He shook sweat out of his eyes as he worked, flexing his fingers, intelligent mind working hard and quick. He had turned his wrist so his metal watchband had caught onto the restraint around his wrist, digging and poking as good as any lock pick.

He smiled grimly to himself when he heard the telltale click of the locks being picked, and twisted his wrist, shoving the bond aside so his reddened wrist could spring free, pulling off the watch with his teeth and using his free hand to work at the other restraint. Damned if he was just going to sit around and let things happen. That wasn't his style, and he wouldn't let anything happen to his brother, or to Jou.

No alarms were set off, like when Jou had escaped. There were no guards, either. Just a white room now and the door seemed to have disappeared.

Blue eyes darting around, holding his breath to make sure no one was coming or moving to stop him, his heartbeat sounding loud in his ears--too loud, maybe--as he worked at the rest of his restraints quickly, but patiently, freeing himself and slipping to his feet and off of the table. He stumbled a little and veered off to the side, but firmly pushed back any weakness, looking around. The door had to be around somewhere...or some means of escape...even a vent, if need be. His hands fisted at his side as he looked around.

His savior came in the form of a card slot by a wall. There was nothing but the slot, but it was the only one in the room. If there was a card somewhere, he could probably use it to get out.

Seto narrowed his eyes in thought, before he fished into his pockets, coming up empty--they must've strip-searched him while he was out--and glanced around, eyeing the table with the medical equipment in distaste, before his lips curved up into a sneering sort of smile when he noticed the idiot had left his things right where he could get them, on a lower rung of the table. 'Hn. Never underestimate your opponents, baka.' he thought to himself, before he picked up his wallet, slipping out a card, and padded to the card slot, only veering once before he shook off the dizziness, and slid the card through the slot.

The red light turned green, and sliding doors from seemingly nowhere appeared, and opened. It led to a brightly-lit hallway, also white.

Seto squinted at all the whiteness before his eyes adjusted, and he peered around quietly as he stuck his head out of the door, before he padded out slowly and carefully.

There was nothing to oppose the brunet, but there were several doors, and each required a passcode and a card. There was only one door that didn't, and it was at the end of the hall.

Blast...he didn't have time for passcodes. He had to find Jou and Mokuba, and quickly. Cracking the codes would take too long. He bit his lip, then headed down the hall to the door, praying that Mokuba or Jou was there as he slid the card through the simple slot.

The door clicked open, and another room was revealed. This time, however, there was someone else in it. Jou was there, except he was strapped down to a table, much like Seto had been. There were wires on his arms, neck, ankles, and head, a breathing mask over his mouth as his chest rose and fell slowly. A vitals monitor beeped lazily in the corner to show that the unconscious boy seemed fine.

Seto's eyes widened at the sight, before he whispered Jou's name, stumbling in slightly before he regained his footing, moving to him. "I'm so sorry, koinu..." he whispered, touching his cheek with his fingertips, before he looked around. He had to get him out of here. He hadn't been able to protect him, but he sure wasn't going to let him down, now. He gnawed on his lip absently, before he started to pull out whatever cords and wires that he could, praying that he wouldn't hurt the blond.

It didn't hurt the blonde, a few marks signaling that the caps had been there all that showed on the blonde inujin. He didn't wake, though, body still as if in some sort of coma.

He pulled out every cord and wire that he could find, and gazed at him gently. "I won't let them hurt you, koinu. Not while I'm breathing." he vowed softly, before planting his bare feet sturdily and scooping the blond up and into his arms, turning to head back out.

Jou groaned faintly, but didn't do much else, completely limp in the brunet's arms as he was whisked from the room.

Again, the CEO peered around when he reached the door, looking for, listening for any trouble, before he slipped out of the room, and back down the hall. He had to find Mokuba, had to get them all out of here, now.

"I think that's far enough, Mr. Kaiba." It was the same doctor from before that stood, blocking his way. "I highly suggest you return Project C-4 to us immediately, and surrender yourself."

"No." Seto replied flatly, eyes narrowed. "I'm not letting you hurt him." He hunched his body slightly, curving his body to protect the defenseless blond.

"I'm afraid you don't get a say in the matter," he said as he snapped his fingers. Several men came from all around, cornering the pair. "Take Project C-4, and dispose of the brunet." he commanded.

"No!" the brunette growled. Adrenaline flooded his system, the need to protect, as he had with Mokuba, strengthening him. When the men came at him, he allowed his body to be limber, rolling his body up to the floor and somersaulted backwards, kicking several in the face and gut while he was at it, then rolling forward and swiping several off of their feet, thankful for his martial arts classes as he rolled back to his feet, taking the brunt of the falls so Jou wouldn't be hurt and shoving past the rest like a train and bolting down the hall.

"Get him!!" he ordered with an angry look. The brunet was amazingly limber for someone injected with 45 milligrams of specialized toxins.

Seto had completely shoved off his dizziness in the urge to protect Jou with all that was within him. The need was stronger than the junk in his body, and he'd pushed himself before, to the limits and farther, he wouldn't stop this time. His bare feet slapped on the cold metal floor as he skidded around the corner with Jou held firmly in his arms, looking for someplace to hide, or find a way out, or something as he heard the men behind him give chase.

All he met was dead end when a metal door snapped shut, cutting off that route. The men closed in on them, and soon they were cornered again, and this time, they had weapons.

"Put Project C-4 down, or we won't hesitate to shoot," they warned.

"No." Seto snarled, his eyes slitted with anger. Gods, he would NOT let them hurt Jou, he would plow his way through the idiots if he had to! He hissed in fury, not realizing that his eyes had changed. Now they looked almost cat-like, with a slitted pupil, the blue even more bluer as fangs glistened at them when he bared his teeth in a grimace. He was going to protect Jou, and he wouldn't let them hurt him!

Several of the men's eyes widened behind their masks. The scientist, however, just grinned. "It seems you will survive the drugs, Seto Kaiba," he said with man amused look. "However, if you don't comply, I'm afraid I'll have to pull back all life support keeping your brother alive," he warned with a smirk. It seemed that the brunet's body had accepted the new DNA. Excellent.

The blue eyes narrowed to slits, nearly all the way closed in his fury. You did NOT threaten his brother. Not if you wanted to live. His jaw clenched. "Fine. I'll just take you with me!" he spat in rage, before he tucked his body protectively over Jou's and bolted forward, plowing through the men and knocking them down like bowling pins as he cradled the blond in his arms and lunged for the scientist, wrapping his hand around his throat and squeezing. He didn't realize that there were new claws at the ends of his fingers, ones that were pricking into the man's throat as he twisted them around. "You. Don't. Threaten. My. Brother." he growled out harshly. "I am not a man without my resources, and I am not stupid. If you make me kill you, that's just fine with me. I will take care of my brother, and I will see to it that you hurt neither you can use against me."

The man gagged slightly against his hand, one of his own going to clench at it. It seemed the feline DNA had been accepted almost instantaneously into the brunet. However... The man's look of pain gained a smirk as he choked out his next words. "Y-you wont--make it that f-far!" he sneered, pulling a remote from his pocket and pressing the button with a breathless chuckle. The remote fell from his hands after that, and clattered to the floor. "Initiate...code th-three b-beta!" he choked out.

Never had he met a man so ruthless to use a boy and an innocent koinu in his gains...the only man that had matched his sickness was Gozaburo, and he'd been pushed to his limits. He quivered, then squeezed harder. "What have you *done*?!" he hissed.

The man only gave one last grin, before the lack of oxygen rendered him unconscious.

A second later, there was a hard kick to Seto's stomach, sending him back and Jou from his arms. The blonde landed on his hands and feet, conscious now.

Seto scrambled for footing, his claws scraping at the floor, screeching like nails on a chalkboard, before he threw his head up, his features laced with hate and fury.

Jou didn't flinch as he looked up, eyes not belonging to the young blonde pup they had once before. They belonged to that of a heartless beast, the honey eyes dark and foreboding as he snarled at the brunet, fur on end as he gained his own claws, sharp teeth bared.

Seto's eyes widened with astonishment. Oh...oh, gods no. A sort of safety switch, tucked into the blond that had been tripped. "Jou..." he whispered, shaking his head in disbelief.

The blonde didn't respond to the name, crouched low and on all fours as he growled at him in warning. He was almost like a wolf, thirsty for blood with his sharp teeth and poised stance. Depending on how Seto made his next move, he would make his own.

"Koinu..." Seto got to his feet, standing. Adrenaline still pumped through his body--it was what had laced the drugs through his system so quickly--but now fear tugged at his heart. Not his koinu. Not his Jou. He couldn't lose him like this! "Jou...it's Seto..." he called softly, slowly, gently making his way towards him. "Please...you have to remember me."

Jou's eyes narrowed even further as his growls grew in warning and anger, as if to say, 'if you come any closer, I WILL shred you'. His claws scraped lightly against the ground, and he crouched low in readiness to attack.

No...This wasn't happening! It couldn't be. Not his adorable koinu. Tears pricked at his eyes, making the blazing blue seem even bluer as he blinked back the weakening tears, his hand held out to him. "Can't you see me? I'm not your enemy, koinu...I never could be."

Jou snapped at his hand with sharp teeth, showing no signs of recognizance as he glared at the brunet with such loathing Jou could never have possessed. He growled once more, giving his last warning for Seto to back down.

Seto drew his hand back with a squeak, shocked to the roots of his soul that his gentle koinu would snap at him. His vision blurred for a few moments with tears, before he blinked them back firmly and shook his head. "I'm not letting you go, koinu. I won't."

Jou gave a loud snarl, before rushing at him, low to the ground, and jumping up to head-butt him in the chest, bucking his legs forwards and propelling them into Seto's gut roughly.

Seto grunted, but let himself fall into a tuck-and-roll, as his hands snapped out, pinning Jou's arms to his sides as he tucked himself, then rolled back up to his feet, holding onto the blond firmly.

Jou growled angrily, thrashing in his arms and his own tried to slash deadly claws at him. His ears bent back as he glared at him, eyes wild with animalistic fury, his legs kicking Seto's gut again, scratching with the sharp claws on his toes.

He ignored the slashing with all the will that was within him, ignored the kicking, ignored the thrashing as he pinned his arms to his sides so he couldn't slice his stomach or worse. "I'm not letting go, Jou." he told him quietly.

Jou growled low in his throat again, trying to twist from his grip as his legs wound around one arm, clenching it as he tried to break it. He snapped angrily as his hands, growling.

Luckily he was strong and agile enough from his classes that he knew where to place his arms so he wouldn't snap something, leaving him defenseless. "This isn't you, koinu..." he told him softly, whispering against his ear. "I'm not going to let you go. Not until you come back to me. I'm not your enemy. Please, Jou."

Jou only pulled his ear away, glaring at him, but not snapping. He gave a growl, locking eyes with him.

Blue eyes met his calmly, pleadingly, clearly. "I'm not giving up on you. This isn't you. You're my koinu, remember? You'd never hurt me...don't let them control you, Jou. Control yourself."

"..." Jou stared at him for a moment without hate or malice, before clenching his eyes shut and thrashing again with an aggravated whine/growl. He struggled again, legs falling from his arm to try and help him free himself.

"Jou...please...you're your own person, now. You're not their weapon. You have a will. You have a heart." Seto told him, still holding on tightly to the blond. "You love Mokuba...you love me..."

Jou gave a sound akin to a whine of pain, struggles not quite as energetic as before. He bit lightly into Seto's shoulder, but not enough to draw blood or actually injure him. It was like when he had been a pup, play-biting his hand.

The brunette jerked a little in surprise, but gazed at him pleadingly. "Come back to me, koinu. Don't let them win. Don't let them take you away from me." He whispered the last words into the soft blond hair. "I still need you, koinu."

".... S...Set...o...?" The words were soft, and sounded forced as Jou's body trembled. He let go of Seto's shoulder, licking it faintly. He hadn't meant for harm to come to Seto... His struggles ceased as he struggled to keep close to Seto, whimpering.

"Jou..." the brunette whispered warmly, purring soothingly without even thinking about it as he nuzzled him, changing his arms so he didn't restrain him, but cradled him.

"S-Seto...." he whimpered, hugging him and holding close to him as wet pearls stained his cheeks, rolling down them slowly. He-he tried to kill Seto!! He buried his face in his shirt, trying to keep from sobbing. He was still only half-himself, however, shaking in his arms. Those damn scientists...what did they do to him?!

"It's okay, koinu..." he told him gently, stroking his hair soothingly. "It's okay...I won't allow them to hurt you, I swear..."

Jou nodded into his shirt, tail between his legs as he hugged the other tightly.

Too bad moments like this were not meant to last--at least, in a place like this. Some of the guards were still very much alive and well, and it showed when one snatched up the controller used on Jou, and pressed another button on it.

Jou yelped, fur standing on end as he clenched Seto's shirt tightly. It was only a split second, though, that this happened. The blonde fell into Seto, limp and a rag doll half a second later, breathing slow.

An electric net was fired over them a second later, shocking both to the core of their bodies and causing cries of pain to emanate from the blonde, even if he was not properly conscious.

"Leave...him...ALONE!!" Seto bellowed, his hair standing on end in his fury as he ignored the pain that the electric net jolted through him, and sliced the net apart, his eyes blazing with fury, the expression cold and fierce, unforgiving. Like an animal protecting its mate. Pushing back all pain--replacing it with determination, the brunette jolted forward with Jou tucked firmly in his arms, and sliced the man holding the control cleanly across the belly, his face spattering with the man's blood as he nearly cut the man in two, grabbed the remote and sliced his way through some more.

At that moment, Seto Kaiba was gone. In his place, was a very pissed cat-like brunette that wasn't taking any prisoners or let anyone breathe if they hurt the blond.

Screams and yells from men filled the halls, the once-white walls stained a deep red of anger as one by one, the men shooting at the ferocious brunet were cut down and drowned in their own blood.

"We've got a situation here!! Seto Kaiba has--aaaauuuuuhhhhh!!!!!" The line went dead in the board room.

"It seems that his strength and power increase every time Project C-4 is brought into the picture," one murmured. "If we do not find a way to sedate and capture them both, terminate them both. Understood?"

"Yes sir."

Meanwhile, Seto was mowing through the guards like a berserker. Several men that even *dared* to come close to the blond received a furious hiss and snapping blue eyes, before their lives were cut short by sharp claws.

Halls were being shut off one by one, giving them only one possible route as still, more men attempted to stop them. They would NOT escape this building alive, the men decided.

But while the brunette was in a rage, his brain was still working. He kicked and shoved his way through others as he recognized that the paths were being closed off, leapt over several others' heads, and bolted down that one route, slitted eyes narrowed in concentration as instinct led him to find a way out--and find his brother.

Mokuba was carefully sealed away, that the men were sure of. They kept Seto as far away as possible from him, closing off doors behind him as soon as he went past them. He was being led to a destination, and they were determined to get both the inujin and the nekojin.

But the brunette wouldn't be cornered. Never underestimate your opponents, he'd thought to himself. And again, he surprised the men as he halted, sniffed, then like knives cutting through butter, sliced a hole in one wall, and clambered through with Jou, faster than the men would imagine he could move.

"He just sliced through a wall!!" they cried into their comm. units.

"This is getting too dangerous. Terminate them now."

"But sir, they are by far the most advanced-"

"NOW. Blow them up, shoot them, do whatever. But DO NOT let them escape."

"But sir, we still have one more line of defense left!"

"Use it to buy time. Consider this project terminated."

"...Yes sir."

Seto's body was pushing its limits, but still the CEO kept on moving, kept on pushing. He was known for his determination, his outright stubbornness. And that was what was keeping him in one piece now. Getting Mokuba and Jou out of there and in one piece. Several sniffs, turns, slices later, he'd worked his way to where his brother was kept, such a little thing as guards not stopping him. He just plowed them over, and kicked open the door.

Mokuba was on a table just like Seto and Jou's, save his heart monitor showed him to be much worse off than either of them, requiring a respirator to keep oxygen entering his body. He was hooked up to an ICU, face paler than normal. His body had tried to fight off the drug, and it had almost gotten him killed as a result. He had survived, luckily, but retained no changes in his DNA structure.

Slitted blue cat-eyes gazed at the younger boy, a whispered "Mokuba" breaking from between fanged teeth as the blood-spattered brunette made his way to him, Jou still held in his arms. He caressed Mokuba's cheek soothingly with one fingertip, his eyes filling with tears, before he glanced at the machine. His brain started clicking away, and upon recognizing what he needed, he fashioned the machine to be a portable respirator with quick hands and quicker mind, hoping to all the gods it held out as he slid Mokuba free of his restraints and into his arms as well.

"End of the line, Kaiba," a voice hissed from behind. "You're not going any farther."

Seto growled in warning, before he lashed out, still a force to be reckoned with--even more so with his brother in his arms--and plunged his claws into the man's stomach, twisting fiercely, before he plowed through yet more men.

The man smirked, and elbowed Seto in the back, crushing him downwards. "Sorry, I'm not as weak as those humans you encountered," he grinned, stomach seeming to close back over almost immediately.

Seto staggered, but kept his footing, hissing as he held onto Jou and Mokuba protectively, before he turned, and sliced a new hole into the opposite wall and left that way.

The man gave chase, keeping perfect pace with him and he...slithered along the floor? It was another hybrid, this time a chameleon and a human. He looked perfectly normal, save his green skin, yellow eyes and long tail as he chased after them needle-like teeth gleaming with saliva.

He sent one wall-opening that he'd already sliced through falling backwards with a shove of his hand, hoping to squash the insect as he bolted down the hall. He had to get away, get to freedom...Mokuba's air wasn't going to last long, and gods damn him, he would not fail his little brother.

But the lizard-man was quick on his feet, and slithered out of the way easily, following them swiftly. "You cannot escape!" he hissed with a grin.

Seto didn't listen to him, nor did he give up. He skidded down the hall--bare feet with claws digging into the floor so he could get traction--and turned a corner, leaping through another hole, this time, slamming the opening he made shut after him before he ran again, sniffing for a sign of fresh air.

Of course, the lizard man bashed into it, but it only took a second for him to clear his head and shove the wall down, chasing after them.

All of a sudden, red lights began to flash and a voice was heard over a loud speaker, "WARNING! WARNING! SELF-DESTRUCT IN TWO MINUTES. EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. WARNING! WARNING..."

Seto gazed up worriedly at the sound, swallowing hard. He had to find an exit, or make an exit, and now, he was not going to die in a monstrous facility, and he was not going to let Jou and Mokuba die. Not like this. He caught a draft of wind from somewhere and turned to the right, spinning on the slippery floor as he turned a sharp curve.

"Wrong way!" the lizard man grinned, dropping down from above, swinging his feet forwards and connecting with Seto's jaw to throw him backwards.

He grunted and stumbled back a few feet, but his eyes spoke of his determination, and he hissed, pushing forward as he death glared at the lizard man, catching hold of his tail and flinging him aside.

Too bad lizards could detach their tail at will. He just grinned, teeth gleaming as he bit down into the teen's leg, piercing his ankle with needle-sharp teeth.

Seto yowled in surprise and pain, before he planted his foot in the man's face and shoved as hard as he could, hobbling slightly as he yanked away and bolted down the hall.

The man screeched as several of his teeth were snapped, some ripped completely out and protruding from Seto's leg as he held his mouth.

"WARNING! SELF-DESTRUCT IN ONE MINUTE. EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. WARNING!"

Hobbling, blood gathered around his ankle and foot, the brunette left a bloody footprint with each sprint that he took, before his eyes spotted a window at the end of the hall. Thank gods, an actual window in this white tower! He tucked Mokuba and Jou tightly in his arms, holding them as close as he could, before he took a breath and flung himself out the window, ignoring the shattering glass cutting into his face and arms.

Surprisingly enough, the lab was only a hundred miles or so from Domino, on a hill over looking the city. However, the angle the brunet had jumped out left them at a long, looooong free fall to the forest below.

Seto's eyes caught the fall, the blue orbs widening, before he twisted his body in the air, like a cat does, so he was upright, shifting Jou to his shoulder and Mokuba into one of his arms, before the other arm snapped out and dug into the side of the hill, claws scraping down the side as he sought to control their fall.

Lucky for all three, the soil was nice and rough, with plenty of root for the brunet to catch hold of. Neither teen fell from his grip, both unconscious of the immediate danger they were in.

There was thirty Seconds to the self-destruct

Seto panted softly, his body wearing down on him for all it had done, but he was not going to give in. Not until he got his brother and Jou to safety. He glanced upwards, then down, before he fumbled, and dug both feet in as well, and started climbing down with the two, moving as quickly as he could, wincing as his injured foot jangled each time he moved it.

Twenty seconds left, and they were barely halfway down the steep ledge.

Seto chewed on his lip as he glanced down. He knew that his agility should be stronger than a normal humans, as Jou's was, he just hoped he didn't break something. He swallowed hard, pulling the blond back into his arms, closed his eyes slightly--and let go, letting himself spring away from the side with the two, praying he could take the brunt of the fall and walk away still in one piece. Cats did it, after all…he just hoped he could do the same.

Ten....nine...eight...

They were halfway, falling faster now.

Six...five...four...

3/4 of the way down, and right above the treetops...

THREE. TWO. ONE. SELF-DESTRUCT INITIATED.

There was a loud explosion that shook the whole forest, shock waves sent out in all directions.

Seto cried out in surprise as he felt the wave pushing into his back, speeding his descent. He gulped, closed his eyes, and tucked himself around Mokuba and Jou protectively as he prepared himself for the fall.

It must have been sheer dumb luck that they hit a large grove of hedge-like trees with barely and branches, and seeming to be mostly leaves. They crashed down upon them, but because of the way they grew, not too much damage was done. Some bruises and scratches, possibly a fracture or two, but that was it, as they tumbled to the forest floor.

Seto grunted as he felt each scratch and scrape, but the impact with the ground was much more teeth jarring. Though his fall had been slowed by the movement through the trees, it still knocked the breath out of him as he landed, a wheeze of pain slipping from his lips as he landed on his injured foot, then rolled onto his back, holding on tightly to Mokuba and Jou.

All was silent after the initial blast, the sound of flames crackling loudly even from way above them. There was silence in the forest, and all around them darkness.

He took a few moments to catch his breath, ignoring the pain in his body and ankle as he shifted, gazing up through the treetops to the orange and red against the dark sky. "May you burn in hell..." he hissed softly, before he carefully picked himself off of the floor, gazing to the two worriedly.

Mokuba was breathing fine in the minute-made respirator, still unconscious as a few scrapes along his body. His left wrist looked to be sprained, but it would heal quickly.

Jou was still unconscious as before, breathing slowly. He had several scrapes here and there, but otherwise appeared fine. He had not been seriously harmed.

He pressed a kiss to each of their cheeks, wishing he had his cell phone to call the limo with. Barefooted and in the woods outside of Domino, it was a long way to walk. He gazed outwards, slitted eyes rounded in the darkness as he saw the lights of the city, then started that way, hobbling slightly as he carried the two.

*******

The doctor sighed as he finished cleaning and bandaging Seto's bloodied ankle. "That's all I can do for now, Kaiba-sama," he said. "Take the painkillers I prescribed, and it should heal without further complications."

Seto winced slightly as his ankle twinged at the movement, but nodded his head. He just hoped there wasn't a backlash from his new body to the prescriptions... "And my brother?" he asked.

"He threw everything up, so he should be just fine," he assured him. "I gave him some gravol, and cleaned his cuts. He'll be right as rain within a few days," he smiled.

Seto nodded, giving a small sigh of relief, and added, "And Jou?"

"Jou..." he murmured. "Never seen anything quite like him, Kaiba-sama. Dog ears and tail... Well, I'm getting off-track. He has no other injuries than his scrapes and cuts, so he's almost as good as ever."

"And he's not awake."

"Sorry, no," he shook his head. "He seems in some sort of coma, Kaiba-sama."

The brunette's brow furrowed at that, before he nodded his understanding. "Thank you for your help. As always, I can depend on you to be discreet."

"Of course, Kaiba-sama," he bowed his head. "I wish you the best of luck."

Seto nodded firmly, watching the man leave, before he removed himself from the seat he'd been sitting in and hopped lightly to check on Mokuba and Jou.

Mokuba was half-awake by that time, smiling faintly at his brother as he entered. "Ni...niisama..." he smiled tiredly

"Mokuba..." Seto hobbled over to him, faint, tired circles under his eyes as the bright blue depths gazed at his brother, lifting a hand to stroke his bangs from his face. "How are you feeling...?"

"Sick and tired," he said with a hoarse voice, a mild side effect of the serum he'd been forced to receive orally. He'd had a mild allergic reaction, but nothing serious.

"You rest, then, otouto." Seto murmured softly, kissing his forehead. "Feel better."

"I will," he smiled with a nod. "Is Jou-kun okay...?"

"He seems to be. But there was a mechanism that was used against him while we were still in there, and he's still asleep." he replied, his eyes blazing a brighter blue at the thought. "I've got to find a way to get him out of it."

"What...mechanism?" Mokuba asked.

"A remote control of some sort. There was buttons pushed, and he fell unconscious. He hasn't awakened since."

"Was...it destroyed in the blast...?" he asked. Jou might be stuck that way if it had been destroyed and he hadn't been freed of its effects...

"I had it when I was trying to get out..." Seto was quiet for a few moments, trying to backtrack through that blaze of pain and fury, and remember what he did with the remote. Things had moved so quickly...he bit his lip in thought, hoping he hadn't dropped it, before he felt around in his shirt and pants pockets--breathing a sight of relief when he found it. It was so small and light, he hadn't felt it, and fished it out. "I must've stuck it in there sometime, though I don't remember doing it..."

"Maybe...one of the buttons can help him...?" Mokuba mumbled out, closing his eyes for a moment, then opening them slowly. All those painkillers were making him sleepy!

"Hope so." Seto murmured, before he kissed his forehead. "Get some sleep, otouto."

"Hai, niisama..." he gave one last smile, before giving as small, careful yawn and letting sleep claim his exhausted body. He'd been kidnapped enough for one lifetime, thank you very much.

Gently feathering Mokuba's bangs from his eyes tenderly, Seto blinked, noting that the claws from before were gone as he turned to hobble out of the room. Maybe he had control over his appearance, then…? He focused, then nodded as the claws slid out, like something of a knife blade, before sliding back in. Interesting...

When the brunet arrived in his room, the blonde inujin was still fast asleep on his bed, breathing slowly. His status had not changed from when they had been shocked, body still as before.

Hobbling into the room, Seto paused, gazing at the blond, before he hopped over and sat at his side. "I'm sorry they hurt you, koinu..." he whispered softly, kissing his brow gently, before he glanced at the remote. How in the world could he maneuver this thing to bring him back? He had no way of knowing which button was which...he could make it worse. He would have to destroy it...and hope for the best. He picked up the remote, glancing at it, then at Jou, before he took a steady breath and threw it at the wall.

The remote splintered into tiny bits as soon as it hit the wall, leaving a crack in it since the brunet was stronger than before. It fizzed on the ground for a moment, before shorting out.

There was a faint shudder from Jou, and he no longer looked as if in an induced sleep, rather...a normal one, a certain sort of calmness overcoming his body as it gave a sigh, and relaxed.

Seto blinked at the dent he'd made in the wall, surprised, before he glanced at Jou, and reached out, brushing his fingers against his cheek hesitantly.

The blonde keened softly, nuzzling the digits as when he'd been a small pup, seeking comfort after a bad dream.

Seto's expression gentled and he smiled softly in relief. "I'm right here, koinu." he replied softly, kissing his forehead. "You're safe, now."

"Nnn..." he murmured softly, turning on his side towards Seto and hugging his hand to himself lightly as if for reassurance.

"You're safe." Seto repeated, needing a little reassuring himself as he laid his forehead against his. "I won't let anyone hurt you."

"...Promise...?" he whispered softly, eyes open just a crack as he gazed blearily at the brunet.

He gazed back at him as he touched his cheek with his other hand. "Promise." he whispered back.

Jou gave a small; half-smile as he let his eyes close again, curling up by the brunet as he let himself drift off into a sound slumber. He didn't want to remember what had happened in that lab. He didn't want to go back. He just wanted to be with Seto.

Shifting so he could let his injured foot stretch out on the bed, Seto rested his body against the blonde's, allowing him to hold onto his hand as the other stroked through his hair soothingly, humming softly under his breath.

The blonde inujin snuggled close to Seto, murmuring softly as he relaxed once more, content in the warmth that Seto's body gave off. It was soothing, and comforting, like when Seto had cradled him gently after a nightmare. He would not awaken until late the next morning, sound asleep.

By that time, the brunette had dropped off to sleep himself, since his body needed to recuperate from all it had been through. Unconsciously, he held the blond close to him as he slept, an arm around the middle of his back as he purred, the kind of soothing sound that cats did with little ones, even if he wasn't aware of doing so. His cheek rested against the top of Jou's head, his other hand still captured in between Jou's.

************

It was late, when Jou woke up. Well, late for him, anyway. It was around 10:35 when he shifted on the bed, hands clenching softly for the hand they had held last night, honey eyes opening slowly with a kawaii yawn.

Seto still slept beside him--which, for him, was uncommonly rare for him to be sleeping so late, since he was usually up before anyone else was. His hair was tousled from its usual neat-as-a-pin appearance, and while the brunette looked exhausted, if you counted the circles under his eyes, he looked more content than he had in years. He shifted when he heard the yawn, making a small awakening half-mewing sound as lashes fluttered open, exposing the bright blue eyes that held a tinge of sleep to them as he turned his weight onto his hip. "Mmm...Jou...?" he murmured softly.

"Uh-huh..." he nodded softly, sleepy honey eyes now a tad more awake as he stretched lightly, giving a tiny sound before relaxing and nuzzling his hand. "You smell different," he murmured softly, gazing at the CEO's tattered shirt.

"Do I...?" Seto yawned into his other hand, before he wiped it across his eyes. He could imagine he rather smelled different, since he *was* different... "And what do I smell like?" he asked, curious.

"Like a cat," he said, moving so he was right beside the other as he nuzzled his neck.

He blushed faintly, though with the motion, he couldn't help the purr that slipped out from between his lips, tilting his neck slightly in the fashion that felines do to receive attention. "Makes sense." he murmured softly.

Jou felt a twinge of guilt. "...They did this to you, didn't they?" he murmured softly.

"Yes." Seto replied gently, before he reached his hand and caressed Jou's hair gently. "And I would let it happen again, I would not let them, let anyone, hurt you."

"Gomen ne..." he whispered softly. "If it wasn't for me...you...you'd still be normal..." he said quietly.

"Shush." Seto replied, placing a fingertip over Jou's lips. "You and Mokuba are important to me. More important than anything in this world. I would do anything, go through anything, to protect you. And I will. It doesn't matter what happens to me. Just as long as you and Mokuba are safe, then I can breathe easy."

"But...but I...attacked you..." he murmured, face falling as he looked at the bed with regret. "I tried to hurt you..."

He shook his head and tilted up his head gently with his fingertip. "That wasn't you, koinu. Not the Jou I know. That was simply what they tried to make you, but you proved to be stronger than they are. You overcame their control."

"I almost didn't, though!" Jou protested, eyes wet. "I-I almost...I almost..."

"Shhh..." Seto whispered, sealing off the rest of his words with a gentle, tender kiss, his hand cupping the back of his head lightly. Yes, he'd been scared of losing Jou. Terrified, even. But the past was past; Jou was safe. That was what mattered.

Jou whined into the kiss lightly, kissing him back as tiny pearl rolled down his cheeks. Everything that had happened was his entire fault! It he hadn't of found Seto or Mokuba, neither of them would have gotten dragged into this mess... He clutched Seto's shirt in his fists lightly, shaking faintly.

Arms wrapping around the blond, Seto sought to soothe Jou, showing with his touch as best he could that he didn't blame him, and that nothing was his fault. His lips gently moved across his, then shifted, kissing away his tears gently as he hugged him close. "Don't do this to yourself, koinu..." he whispered.

"B-but it's my fault..." he whispered. "If I hadn't of ever come here..."

"No." Seto replied softly, yet firmly. "Don't blame yourself. Yes, life would be very different without you in it. Very empty. You wouldn't be the adorable koinu I treasure, Mokuba wouldn't have his best friend, and I would still be sitting in my office, killing myself slowly with paperwork and never opening up to anyone. It would be lonely without you, Jou. Something I don't want to consider."

Did...he really mean that much to him? "Honto ni...?" he asked softly, wiping his tears from his eyes and looking up at him.

"Honto ni." he echoed softly as he moved his hand and thumbed away a tear hanging on his cheek.

Jou hugged him tightly, face in his shirt as he mumbled words of adoration and love to Seto. His tail was moving slowly back and forth, and he nuzzled him.

The brunette nuzzled him back gently, wrapping his arms around him and kissing the top of his head as long fingers stroked his back gently.

Jou gave a faint whine of affection to the brunet as he moved to nuzzle his neck, kissing it softly.

He shivered lightly at the brush of lips, a soft breath fluttering from his own. Oh...that felt...nice...his lashes slid down over his eyes and he purred softly in the back of his throat, cradling the blond to him.

The blonde was slightly surprised by the soft rumbling from Seto's throat, but gave a small smile as he kissed and nipped on it softly. He wanted to show Seto how grateful he was...for everything. Loving him, taking him in, going through all of this... He loved him more than ever.

"Koinu..." The affectionate nickname was purred from the brunette's lips, one long, soft, rumbled purr as his neck tilted to the side lightly. It appeared that his body was more sensitive, as well. The soft brushes of lips and teeth were like heaven, and it felt like his body turned to goo at the touch, relaxed, pliant, warm and content.

"Ai shiteru, Seto..." Jou whispered softly, focusing on a sensitive spot beneath the brunet's ear and sucking on it as his other hands began on the buttons to his shirt.

Seto shivered at the touch against sensitive skin, and gasped, arching his back slightly, before his eyes fluttered open. "Jou...you…you don't have to..."

"I know," he said softly. "But I want to show you just how much I love you how much you mean to me."

"Jou..." Seto whispered, blushing slightly as his hand came up, caressing his cheek and brushing away soft tendrils of hair from his face.

Perhaps there really were happy endings, after all.

******************

XD Bwaha! Thankies mucho to Moonchild DJ for all her help and support! XD And especially for RPing with me!

Thankies, Dee-chan! ^^;; there's no way this could have been done without you!!

-Ozark the MoonHead.