Play pretend

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Warnings/notes : Seto/Joey (semi-established), Joey pov, slightly weird, major ooc Joey.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

written at 27th january 2004, by Misura

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"Good morning, Seto!"

"It's 'Kaiba' for you, mutt. Just like everybody else."

Your demeanor does not unsettle me. It's just an act.

Your words can not hurt me. They're part of your act too.

"Oooh, aren't we sunny this morning?"

"You seem to be. Inappropriately so even. I have no desire to lower myself to your level."

"Do you use big words to impress me, Mister Sunshine Kaiba? Because, frankly, they only make you sound like an idiot."

"I have neither any need nor any desire to impress the likes of you, mutt."

You glare at me, beautiful as ever, brushing past me, with the barest of touches that tells me it's not an accident, and drop the note in my hand.

On it, a time and a location. Same as ever.

You know, I could cause you quite some embarrassment if I ever showed one of those little notes to, oh, say, the newspapers. Or just someone not as friendly as Yugi, Honda and Anzu.

If I ever tried to kiss you in public, would you shove me away? Would you really be that cold, that controlled?

You would, wouldn't you? You are so cold to me it burns. Every small taunt is merely fanning the flames. I wonder how it is for you, if every heated word from my lips makes your ice go a little bit thicker. It'd be major messed up, but then again, so are we.

And loving it.

You know I'd never tell anyone. I even -asked- before I told Yugi. You laughed then, petting me as if I really were your dog, your puppy.

"Let's assume, for a moment, that I was to say 'no'. What then?"

"Then I wouldn't tell him."

"Your obedience is really touching, puppy. Perhaps I should buy you a leash. And a collar with your name on it, to let people know you were mine."

"I would write him a letter."

"Hmmm. Just talk to him. I don't care. And trying to spell might give you a headache. I wouldn't want to have that on my conscience."

"You think so highly of me it makes me blush."

Oddly enough, it's true too. Not the 'you thinking so highly of me'-part. The 'making me blush'-part.

There are times when I walk in a room. And you're in there too.

Maybe there are other people around. Maybe not. It doesn't matter.

You pretend to be busy. Pretend not to notice me. But you do. We both know it.

I walk in, approaching you cautiously. Pretending not to care.

And just before I can touch you, you raise your head.

And look.

Nothing more. Not a trace of that famous 'come hither'-look. Not a hint of desire, lust, love, whatever you want to use for an excuse for playing secret lovers with me.

You merely look.

I merely blush.

You say I'm cute when I do it, later, when we're lying in your big bed, listening to the sound of the rain, ticking on the window.

"Most people probably think you turn red out of anger at seeing me."

You sound amused, even chuckling lightly. I curl up a bit closer, to feel the warmth of your body.

"Most people are idiots."

You smirk. "Isn't it nice to know you're not the only one?"

"You ... bastard!"

What I see in your eyes would make any other person blush like crazy. It's a kind of smothering fire that freezes me on the spot, rendering me helpless when you reach for me, dragging me down.

It's predatory, that look, telling me you're going to pounce me, whether I like it or not. It might scare me a little, if I wouldn't be sure you'd stop if I asked you. If I meant it when I asked you.

I rarely ever blush in the time we spent alone, doing things that might give Yugi a nosebleed, if I ever were to describe them to him.

But when we meet in a crowd, I blush like some shy virgin.

I still don't know how you do it, and whether you do it on purpose or not. I never asked.

If I did, I'm sure you'd say that yes, of course you do it on purpose. Silly me for doubting your self-control.

"Do you love me?"

"Yes. Always. Forever."

I know the rules of the game. Go on, laugh. I'm used to it.

"Do you think I love you too?"

This is new, this question. What the heck am I supposed to say?

That I hope you do? It wouldn't be true, not exactly. One of us should keep a clear head, remember this is all just fooling around, two teenagers who can't control their hormones ... not love.

"I don't know." I'm your poor ignorant puppy. Kiss me, jump me, torture me, taunt me, crush me or make not-love to me. But don't expect me to tell you who you are and what you feel.

"A pity." A cryptic answer. I wonder if I want to pry for an explanation. You spare me the need to think about it too long by pinning me down again.

It should scare me, saying 'I love you' and meaning it, while knowing you'll never tell me the same, knowing you'll just toss me into the nearest garbage-can one day, as some toy you've grown tired of. Not out of cruelty, though you do have a sadistic streak. Merely out of ... loss of interest.

Until you do though, I will love you and convince myself that you don't love me, have never loved me, will never love me.

Masters don't love their puppies.

But all puppies love their masters, even when their master kicks them over and over again.

It's a crazy world we're living in.

OWARI