Fifty Ways to Make Joey Wheeler's Life Miserable
Summary: Téa never thought she'd have anything in common with Seto Kaiba. She especially didn't think it'd be homicidal rage directed toward Joey. But every girl has a threshold… and being locked in a bathroom just might push Téa over hers. [SetoTéa undertones]
Disclaimer: I don't own YuGiOh; I don't own any references I've used from the show; anything you don't recognize I've likely made up.
Notes: This is in NO WAY a Joey-bashing fic. I love Joey. This isn't intended to bash anyone. This is for sake of humor alone. Also, SetoTéa was never intended, but it's enough so that I wanted to warn people in the summary.
Credit: Thanks a BILLION to Dragon's 1 Girl, who helped me come up with half of my working list for this. I could NOT have done this without you- I admit, you're much better at being malicious than I am. :P
She'd never thought that she'd have anything in common with Seto Kaiba.
She especially never thought it'd be homicidal rage directed towards Joey Wheeler.
Yet here she sat, fists clenching and unclenching, breathing heavy, eyes flashing, happily visualizing every possible painful act of torture under the sun that she'd commence to deal to her ex-best-friend.
If she ever got out of here.
So this was what 'bloodthirsty' felt like. It was oddly satisfying.
Téa Gardner accidentally growled under her breath, causing the other occupant in the room to look over at her coldly. "Save your energy," he drawled.
She focused her newly-perfected laser glare at Kaiba. He should really know better. She was an enraged female, liable to turn on the first target in sight since the true object of her blazing hatred was out of reach.
And it was this out-of-reachness that, ironically, was enraging her so.
"Save my energy?" she hissed venomously. "Kaiba. We are locked in a bathroom."
Kaiba looked around lazily, taking in the small window, peeling wallpaper, and rusted toilet. "So we are," he delivered with a perfect poker face. "At least we have plenty to drink." He smirked.
She stared at him in horror. "That's disgusting!"
Kaiba allowed his smirk to deepen, knowing he'd gotten her. "I was referring to the faucet, of course." He nodded to her left. She craned her head to see the white porcelain sink, and her cheeks grew red.
"I knew that."
Kaiba merely snorted, leaning back against the wall. Téa had sunk, in abject despair, to sit with her back leaning against the door. Joey had been gone at least half an hour. 'I'll be back in a flash, Téa! Don't you worry!'
Yeah, right. She ground her teeth together. She was going to kill him. Kill. Kill. Kill.
"This is all your fault," she muttered at Kaiba. Yes, she was most definitely falling into the old trap. When the person you want to murder isn't around, be satisfied with any victim.
"This is not my fault," Kaiba snapped back. Aha. Their situation was getting to him too. Cold and silent sarcasm was giving way to open irritation. "If you want to blame anyone, blame Wheeler."
"I do," came her prompt reply. "I blame you for starting the fight. I blame Joey's manager for making him stay late to close up. And I blame Joey for rising to your crude bait, locking the door, getting me stuck with you, and generally being a prick."
Was it her imagination, or had he snorted in laughter?
The whole evening seemed to be full of ironic humor. She was sure that if this had been happening to Yugi or someone, instead of her, she'd be laughing too. But nooo… it was Téa who had decided to stop by RainbowTech's main office building to visit Joey and see how he was doing in his new janitorial job. It was Téa who had heard angry shouts coming from the bathroom, and gone in to investigate. It was Téa who had entered to see Joey spewing a stream of insults at Kaiba, there on a business meeting. And it was Téa who had gotten locked in the bathroom when Joey angrily stormed out, slamming the door behind him.
She gnashed her teeth, remembering how she'd first rolled her eyes at his childish behavior, then tried to exit the small room as well. When she realized it was locked, she was more annoyed than worried. She called back for Joey.
She'd known she was in trouble as soon as he uttered that word in a sheepish, but not nearly repentful enough, tone.
And she'd grown steadily more homicidal as Joey confessed he'd been left behind to lock up after he finished cleaning, the manager had warned him to only close the bathroom door when he was sure he was done for the night, and he'd just pulled out and gone home with the only keys.
So Joey left, promising to return with a way to unlock them soon. As soon as that door opened, she was going to lunge for his neck.
"Why were you here so late, anyway?" Téa asked grouchily.
Kaiba glared at her. "I was in a business meeting. You knew that."
"So why'd the manager leave before you did?" she challenged, glaring right back.
"What, Gardner? You think I orchestrated this so I'd have the golden opportunity of being stranded in a bathroom with you? I had to actually use the restroom, thank you very much, so the manager walked out ahead of me. But when I came in here, I found the mutt cleaning the toilet." He scowled. "It wasn't entirely surprising, I must confess. I just wondered why he wasn't drinking from it."
"So of course, you had to start a fight," Téa muttered viciously. "You couldn't just be civilized."
"Civilized?" Kaiba rolled his eyes to the ceiling. "I wasn't the one scrubbing the toilet."
She glared at him. "It's not funny. Joey needed this job!"
"Well, he won't be having it for long," Kaiba scowled maliciously. "Not after I get in contact with his manager."
"Kaiba!" she exclaimed, standing up to scowl at him. "That's not fair!"
"Last time I checked, you were just as mad at being stuck in here as me!" he bellowed.
"Of course I am! But that's mostly because I'm stuck here with you- you're such a jerk!" she exploded, waving her hands in the air. "Stupid or not, it was an accident! You have no right to get Joey fired! You're such a spoiled brat, you don't know what it's like to need money to survive!"
Kaiba's eyes flared in anger. He stormed forward. She instinctively jumped backwards, cowering, but he stormed over to the toilet and slammed his hand down on the flusher.
They both watched the water spin away noisily. Téa was the first to giggle. Kaiba didn't exactly laugh, but he did give a loud sigh and slump back against the wall.
"Why did you do that?" she asked, her giggles dying away.
"Because physically harming you might have gotten me into some public-relation problems," he said dryly. "You don't know the sheer amount of work I have to do, Gardner. Take being in this damned business meeting close to midnight."
"We all work," she grumbled. "I was walking home from a six-hour dance practice. Joey was cleaning this whole stupid building. You don't see any of us dealing with stress by acting like assholes."
"I don't see you dealing with stress anywhere close to mine, either," he snapped.
She shut her eyes, resuming her dejected position by the door. "Forget it."
She didn't have to be looking at him to know he was scowling. 'Put him out of your mind', she told herself. 'Think about something more pleasant.'
'I'm going to kill Joey.'
"I'm going to dissect him," Téa muttered viciously, curling her hands into a fist. "I'm going to dismember him. Stupid, stupid, stupid Joey. He is SO. DEAD."
"This is new," Kaiba drawled. "Can it be? Wheeler's favorite cheerleader is turning on him?"
"I'm not his favorite, Tristan is," she snapped without thinking.
This time she wasn't imagining it. He'd definitely laughed.
She opened her eyes to examine him. He scowled back.
"Whatever," she muttered. "But just wait 'till I get out. I am going to make his life a living hell."
"How do you propose to do that?" Kaiba asked. Funny. He almost sounded interested. But heck, she was going to die of boredom if she didn't do something. And right now, she had little qualms about conspiring with the enemy to plot Joey's demise.
She thought about it a minute. "Empty his refrigerator," she said finally, a cold glint in her eyes.
Kaiba snorted, turning his head so she couldn't see the grin on his face.
"What?" she demanded, rising up and putting her hands on her hips.
"You must be really mad," he said, still hiding his eyes from her. "That would devastate Wheeler."
"Of course I'm mad," she said snappishly. "It's midnight, I've been dancing for the last six hours, all I had for dinner was a candy bar… I'm exhausted." She was getting ready to yell at him again when she realized he was smiling. Slowly, Téa sunk back to the floor, studying her hands. She allowed herself to start laughing quietly.
"Personally," Kaiba said slowly, after a pause, "I'd have to go for something more psychologically scarring."
"That's not scarring enough?" she asked, cocking her head, eagerly awaiting his idea.
"Hmm. Perhaps. But something more to my taste- I would favor crouching outside his window while he slept. And whispering 'Puppy dog…' So it invaded his dreams."
Téa threw her head back and gave into the giggles. It was surprising how much fun this was. "I can hardly imagine you hiding in a tree outside Joey's window," she admitted. "Although I could certainly imagine him having nightmares from that."
"You've got a point," Kaiba said, considering. He didn't notice the way her eyebrows shot up when he acquiesced to her. "Maybe send him an anonymous dog collar."
Téa snorted in laughter. "Why not send him the whole costume?" she suggested brightly.
"Even better!" Kaiba said in malicious delight. "Or… it'll be Halloween soon."
"Wonder if I can persuade him to go trick-or-treating as a puppy," Téa grinned, picking up on his train of thought.
They both smirked in unison, both picturing Joey as he'd been in Duke's Dungeon Dice Monster's Duel. As if reading Téa's mind, Kaiba suggested, "I taped that duel, you know. Between Devlin and Moto. There were quite a few good shots of the mutt."
Téa shrieked in laughter as she remembered Joey prancing around with those cheerleaders in the puppy dog suit. "Broadcast it to the city," she suggested gleefully.
"You know, I'm seriously considering it," Kaiba smirked, pushing himself away from the wall and pacing back and forth. She followed him with her eyes, remembering something…
"Kaiba? Didn't you say you had to go to the bathroom?"
He stared at her. At the toilet. At her again.
"Not that badly."
"I promise I won't look," Téa said, the corners of her mouth twitching uncontrollably.
He glowered at her. "No. I have self-control."
She hooted, avoiding his evil glare. "It's up to you…" she said, grinning mischievously. "It's not my bladder."
Kaiba seethed. They both fell silent. Téa nervously tapped her fingers against the tile. She couldn't stand the quiet any longer. She should have known better than to tease him… Things had been much better when they were both making fun of Joey.
Joey. Grrr. She was still mad at him.
"Send him love letters from Weevil Underwood," she said, on impulse.
"Send him love letters from Pegasus," came Kaiba's immediate reply.
They locked eyes. They both grinned again.
"Get Ishizu to predict his untimely demise," Téa put forth tentatively. Kaiba rolled his eyes, as she knew he would.
"Better yet," Téa continued, undeterred. "Get Ishizu to predict that he'll meet a tall, dark and handsome stranger." When Kaiba raised his eyebrows at her, she added: "Someone else after Yugi's Puzzle."
Kaiba laughed out loud, no doubt thinking malicious things about Yugi as well. "Send Wheeler invitations to a dozen imaginary tournaments," he suggested, his eyes gleaming wickedly.
"That's pretty low…" Téa said, impressed despite herself.
"Write up articles about Duelist Kingdom and Battle City, lavishing attention on every finalist but him," Kaiba said, his eyes sparkling evilly.
"Run them in your company newsletter," Téa added with a giggle. Kaiba nodded, beginning to pace again.
"Speaking of newsletters…" she said thoughtfully. "Run those pictures of Joey in a dog costume in the school newspaper."
"You have pictures?" he asked, sounding… proud? He probably had never thought he'd find an ally in Téa.
"Of course," she told him. "I downloaded them off the Internet."
He laughed again. It was an unusual sound, and kind of nice. She'd only ever heard him laugh maliciously before, when he was dueling Yugi or beating some random opponent or making fun of Joey…
"Redecorate his bedroom," she reeled off. "With flowers. Lots of flowers."
"Is he allergic?" Kaiba asked hopefully.
"I think so," she grinned, scrunching up her nose.
"Excellent." He sunk down next to her. "Wave a hotdog under his nose. Then eat it."
She burst out laughing. "Send him into a burger joint, but warn all the waiters not to serve him."
They thought for a few minutes, then Kaiba reeled off a few good ones. "Flick inedible things at him during class. Find him a good monkey to duel. Train my attack dogs to target the scent of Wheeler."
"A dueling monkey," Téa snorted. "How'd you know Tristan always made fun of him for that?"
"Taylor? He's not exactly one to talk, is he?"
Téa burst out into giggles, leaning her head against the door with a thunk. "Good point. Heh. I'd nearly forgotten about that."
"How could you forget?" Kaiba asked, sounding amused. "That little robotic monkey will haunt my sleep forever more."
"Ewww…" she said, wrinkling her nose and laughing again. "Hey- on the subject of Tristan, set up a date with him and Serenity."
"Or Devlin and Wheeler junior," Kaiba added, making a disgusted face.
He said it so petulantly Téa had to laugh. "Suggest hopscotch as a good alternative to Duel Monsters," she suggested mischievously, laughter renewed at the sight of his horrified face.
"Never!" He paused to consider. "Replace his deck with yours," he said slyly, shooting her a glance. It took her a minute to realize what he was saying, and she squeaked indignantly and smacked his arm.
"That's not very nice!"
He chuckled lowly. "Replace his shampoo with lye," he offered after a while.
Téa's eyes widened. "That's… maybe a little too evil for my taste," she admitted.
"Hmm? Losing your resolve, Gardner?"
"Never!" she shot him a pretend-offended look. "Honey would work."
"That'd be good too…" he said thoughtfully.
"Or just try to convince him to wear his hair like Tristan," Téa said, her eyes sparkling.
"Or Moto," Kaiba snorted.
"Give him a makeover while sleeping." Téa's face lit up, obviously plotting what an evil revenge that would be.
Kaiba eyed her warily, then suggested, "Sign him up for etiquette classes."
Téa broke out into giggles, picturing anyone trying to teach Joey etiquette. "Or ballroom dancing," she contributed.
"Gods, that'd be horrible," Kaiba muttered, and they both smiled.
"Call him 'blondie'," Téa offered. "Bandit Keith called him that once."
Kaiba rolled his eyes in obvious distaste for the duelist. "Give him a T-shirt with a Red-Eyes being stomped on by Blue-Eyes," he suggested wickedly.
She sighed in fond exasperation. "You boys and your dragons…" she said, shaking her head. "Send love letters to Mai Valentine with his return address."
It was Kaiba's turn to sigh. "You girls and your romance…" he said teasingly. She cocked her head to grin at him.
After a slight pause, Téa hesitantly said, "Sic the city's fangirls on him."
Kaiba let out a rude snort. "Wheeler has fangirls?"
"Maybe not as many as you…" she said, grinning and daringly poking him in the side. He looked duly horrified.
"Vicious, slobbering creatures, they are…" he muttered darkly, looking surprised when she chortled in laughter again. He thought for a minute. "Have my blimp fly over the city, broadcasting 'YOU STINK, WHEELER'!!"
She broke out in giggles again. He'd said it so gleefully. "Send him to Weightwatcher's camp!" she suggested merrily.
They snorted in laughter. Téa lolled her head to the side, but quickly jerked it up when she came dangerously close to resting it on Kaiba's shoulder. He turned his head to peer at her, and she felt a slight blush rising; they were awfully close. She was staring right into his eyes, still sparkling with a slightly malicious air. "Date," she said quietly.
He blinked. He obviously hadn't gotten that one. "What?"
"Date," she said, fighting away the blush. "You and me. It'd drive him crazy."
He just looked at her. "Someone's coming," he finally said, very quietly.
"What?" It was her turn to be confused.
"Someone's coming," he repeated, shifting away from the wall and standing up. She heard it now: footsteps on the stairs.
As Joey scrambled with the lock, Téa clambered away from the door as well, bumping into Kaiba. Automatically, he brought his hand up to rest on her shoulder and steady her.
"Taa-daa!" Joey said, beaming. "And it only took me an hour and fifteen minutes! See, there was this blacksmith down the street, and he did the locks for this place, and once I gave him my employee ID card… KAIBA GET YOUR HANDS OFF HER!"
Téa and Kaiba exchanged glances. "Thanks, Joey," Téa said brightly, wrapping her arm around Kaiba's waist. "It was no problem. Kaiba and I haven't been able to spend too much time together anyway."
"We have a date tomorrow, remember?" Kaiba said, nuzzling the top of her head. "Let's go home and rest up. You don't want to be too tired for it."
"You're right…" she said, grinning tiredly. "G'night, Joey."
They swept out of the tiny bathroom that had been their prison for what felt like forever, turning sideways so they could continue to hold each other as they edged past a flabbergasted Joey Wheeler.
"What did I do to deserve this?" he questioned bemusedly.