"So you were a seemingly normal guy until you met up with a group of weird people who deal with even weirder monsters, and now you've got a mental link to a giant reptile that helps save your life and the world on occasion?"
Long lashes lowered over ice blue eyes, then rose again. "Yes."
"Oh, I know exactly where you're coming from," Dr. Niko Tatopoulos said. "Godzilla is a handful and a half, and I mean that more than literally."
"Try having three," Seto Kaiba countered. "And they fly. And they're intelligent."
"Hey, Godzilla's learning every day," Nick protested in his dinosaur's defense. "But pure instinct is sometimes more trouble in battle situations than intelligent strategy. With him, it's 'Smash first, kill later.' The number of buildings in New York that have had to be rebuilt in the past few years…" He sighed and slumped back into his chair. "I've lost count."
"Yeah, but at least you get a break while yours sleeps," Seto returned. "One of mine is always awake. And having quote-unquote 'lived' for several thousand years makes them think they know everything. And they give me advice whether I want it or not."
"But at least you don't have to feed them. Do you have any idea how much fish I went through before Godzilla moved out into Hudson Bay and started hunting for his own meals?" Nick asked.
"I have absolutely no privacy in my own head," Seto stated blandly. "You can keep your overgrown iguana out of your thoughts, and even the ones he does get he mostly doesn't understand. Do you have any idea how hard it is to conduct a board meeting with three dragons offering useless business advice from inside my head?"
"Damn, kid. I never thought anyone had it worse than me," Nick said, slightly impressed that the kid was still sane.
And horrified that the kid was…still sane. Because even after three years of putting up with Godzilla, he sometimes felt like he was in the Twilight Zone.
Yet here Seto Kaiba sat, looking completely unruffled.
There was no justice in the world; that was all there was to it.
Seto growled. "And I'm supposed to be pleased by that pronouncement?"
Nick shrugged. "No."
Shaking his head, Seto admitted, "It's not all bad."
"Oh?" Nick asked.
Seto smirked. "Whenever they bug me too much I just challenge Yami to a duel and when we lose – which I hate, by the way, but there's no help for it since he's the literal King of Games – they get sent to the Shadow Realm. And I have peace in my own head for a few days while they rest up from the battle."
Sticking his head of shoulder-length dreadlocks through the door, Randy interrupted. "Ah, jefe? There's some weird-looking kid here to see your visitor."
"Short, wears lots of leather and buckles, and has spiky, tri-colored hair?" Seto asked on a drawl.
"That be the one," Randy confirmed. "He's waiting in the front room," he added, before ducking out of the room.
"Yami?" Nick asked.
Seto nodded. "It was nice talking to you Nick, but I have a…previous engagement," he excused himself from the table.
"Previous engagement?" Nick asked.
"Our weekly duel," Seto said.
"Weekly?" Nick asked incredulously. "Do they really bother you that much?"
Seto's grin held an almost evil light. "I'm punishing them."
"For what?" Nick was almost afraid to ask.
Lips twisted in a fierce scowl, Seto said, "Do you have any idea how…humiliating is trying to date with three dragons snickering and offering romance advice in the back of my head?"
Nick gulped. He really felt sorry for those dragons.
Not that they didn't deserve it.
Suddenly, his situation didn't seem so bad…