Waking up

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Warnings/notes : Seto/Joey (established), Yugi, Mokuba, slight silliness, slight fluff, a kiss, a word of bad language, slightly AU, in having the possibility for Joey to go to school by bus as well as walking.

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

written at 4th october 2003, by Misura

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It was the kind of kiss you read about in cheap romance-novels, or dreamt about in your most secret fantasies, deep and intoxicating.

Seto's lips were soft like silk against his own and the normally so distant and cold blue eyes were alight with emotions, telling him silently what he couldn't tell Joey aloud.

"I love you."

"Hmmmm." Joey mumbled, wondering where the bright light had come from all of a sudden. "Seto?" Blinking, he sat up in bed.

In his own, empty bed, in his own room, in his own home.

With ten more minutes to go before school started.

"Damn it! I'm not going to be late again! That'd be the third time this week!"

He quickly grabbed some clothes he hoped were clean and got dressed, after having taken a quick shower to get rid of the last lingering images of the dream and to clear his head.

Praying he hadn't forgotten to put anything vital for surviving another day of school in his bag, like, say, food, he ran out of the door seven minutes after having woken up so unpleasantly, just in time to see the bus riding away.

"Thursedays must be my lucky days." Comforting himself with an apple, Joey unhurriedly headed for school. He was late anyway ; what'd be the use of working himself into a sweat because of it? His only reward would be some extra minutes of class, since he would get detention anyway.

"As long as I'm not going to be late again tomorrow ... " Joey shook his head worriedly. Considering his record of the past week, there was little chance he'd fare any better Friday, which meant he'd have to postpone the weekend-date with Seto until after detention.

"That'd really suck." Joey muttered to himself. He and Seto hardly saw each other aside from the occasional weekend on which Seto could tear himself away from his work. Of course they were still in the same class, but that was different.

Only a few of their classmates knew their fights were for fun now, rather than because they genuinely disliked eachother. To the outside world, Seto Kaiba and Joey Wheeler were still the arguing set of persons they'd been before they got together, both loud and stubborn.

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"Mr. Wheeler, how kind of you to grace us with your presence after all." The teacher's voice was dripping with sarcasm and a few of his classmates giggled, while Yugi and Anzu threw him a quick smile. "And only twenty minutes late today. Astonishing." More giggles.

Blushing in spite of his determination not to, Joey quickly took his seat next to Seto, who pointedly ignored him, though his hand strayed a little and brushed past Joey's thigh, hidden from view by the table. Of course, that might have been nothing but a simple accident ...

"Now then, as I was saying before ... "

Joey yawned, his mind wandering off as soon as the teacher had turned her back on him. It wasn't as if he'd ever needed to know the stuff they were taught here, so why bother paying attention? And he was so very tired ...

It was rather annoying really ; on nights he wasn't with Seto his vivid dreams made him feel exhausted when he woke up and on the few, precious nights he -was- with Seto, he hardly got any sleep either.

Last time, he'd even actually fallen asleep on Seto. The CEO hadn't said anything about it, merely inquired if Joey got enough sleep through the week (to which he had mumbled a 'yeah, sure, why not?') with a slightly worried expression on his face that had made Joey feel all the worse.

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A none too gentle nudge from Seto's elbow alerted him to the end of the lesson. Stuffing his books in his bag like a zombie, he shuffled out of the room, ignoring the questioning glance Seto sent his way and managing a weak smile to greet Yugi.

"Do you know what class is next, Yugi? I'm afraid I'm not quite awake yet ... "

Yugi nodded brightly. "You must be very sleepy, Joey, forgetting when it's lunch-time. Normally, you're already halfway your first sandwich at this time."

"Haha, very funny. I'm not -that- bad." Joey scoffed.

"No. Most of the time you're much worse, but I suppose your little friend wants to spare your feelings." Seto sneered, walking past with a quick nod to Yugi.

"Jerk." Joey mumbled, almost meaning it. He -knew- what Seto really wanted to do was to push him against a wall and proceed to kiss him senseless, never mind who could see (at least, Joey hoped the CEO was thinking of something along those lines ; he himself definitely wouldn't mind a bit more physical contact than an 'accidental' brush), and that such a thing was utterly impossible, but that didn't mean Seto could go around insulting his friends.

"He's probably having a hard time at his work." Yugi noted. "He looked very exhausted this morning, when he walked into class, like he could break down any moment. He didn't of course, and he wouldn't admit anything when I asked, but ... he's having a hard time." Yugi repeated.

"Yeah, well, so am I. A bit concern on his side wouldn't hurt." Joey grumbled, briskly stalking off in the direction of the cafeteria. Yugi hurried to catch up with him.

"The two of you didn't get into another fight again, did you?" Yugi inquired, worry written all over his face. Joey shook his head, glad to be able to reassure Yugi on this account at least.

"Nah." Slightly bitter he added : "We don't see each other often enough for that."

"Oh." Yugi sounded as downcast as Joey felt. "I guess I'm really lucky with Yami. He's always with me, wherever I go. I mean ... I'm very sorry, Joey. I - "

"Don't fret about it, Yugi. I'm glad Yami has time to be with you. It's not your fault Kaiba is such a busy guy." Joey attempted a smile.

"He should spend more time with you, Joey." Yugi said seriously. "If he isn't prepared to do so, maybe you should consider finding another boyfriend."

"Don't make jokes about that, Yugi." Joey wearily shook his head. "He's the only one I want."

-to be concluded in the second part-