Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh in any way shape or form.
The wind was blowing snow into his face. Knee-deep in the freezing stuff, Joey stopped and stood still for a moment, looking around and trying to get his bearings as the icy particles battered his face.
It was starting to get dark. The snow was coming down hard, and the wind was blowing it downhill, straight at him -- He couldn't even tell if this was new snow falling, or the snow that had already fallen, being blown around by the wind.
Ahead of him, he saw something reddish, blundering across his path. A human-shaped blur. Another hiker. He moved toward him.
"Joseph Wheeler?" He stopped in dismay as he realized that the other hiker was Pegasus Crawford.-- The deranged billionaire from the Duelist Kingdom was the last person he would have expected to find in the Himalayas in the middle of a blizzard.
"What are you doing here, Joseph?" Pegasus held onto the fuzzy hood of his red parka with one hand and peered at him through the blowing snow. "You're the last person I would have expected to find in the Himalayas in the middle of a blizzard!" Snow had collected in his silvery hair and on the black eyepatch on the left side of his face. "All by yourself, too -- Why aren't you with Yugi and your other friends?"
"I was. We're on a school trip. Only I got separated from them when the snow got so heavy. Anyway, what's so weird about me bein' here? I ain't the one that sits around on my private island all day readin' manga."
"Listen -- Can we talk AFTER we find shelter? Croquet said there's Rest Houses all along this trail. --" He grabbed Joey by the hand and tugged at him, heading up the hill.
"That's provided we're still on the trail," Joey pointed out.
"You're right -- Or anywhere NEAR the trail -- For all we know, the Rest House could be right in front of our -- Oof!"
A snow-crusted wall loomed up out of the blackness and Pegasus nearly ran right into it.
"Right in front of our faces?"
"Yeah -- That."
Inside, the stone floors and peeling log walls were not inviting.
"Brr --" Pegasus complained, hugging himself, "It's just as cold in here as it is outside!"
"You expected central heating maybe?"
"There's a fireplace. Is there any wood?" There wasn't. "Outside, maybe -- That's where people keep their wood piles, I think. He looked around. "Anything we can burn in here?"
"Here's a wooden bench," Joey said, "Only it's chained to the floor."
"Hmm -- Here's some kind of a chest --" Pegasus grabbed the handle and dragged it away from the wall. "It's pretty heavy. -- It should burn for a while, don't you think?"
Joey looked at it. "Nay," he said, "I think it's some kind of metal."
"Aw, poop!" Pegasus lifted the lid. "Here's some blankets, anyway," he said, pulling two disagreeable looking grey things out and holding them up. "We can warm up with these."
"We'll get between them and get close together -- use our body heat. I've read about people doing that."
"Oh yeah? -- Where?"
"Boy Scout manual. In the section with pressure points and what to do in case of snakebite. It's a standard survival technique."
"Standard survival --" Joey scowled at him, "Any survival technique that involves getting close to YOU ain't worth doin'! I'd rather stay cold."
"There's two of us here," Pegasus glared at Joey, "And I WOULDN'T rather stay cold. Freeze to death on your own time. We'll keep each other warm tonight."
"How ya gonna make me? Send me to the Shadow Realm?"
"What's your problem anyway?"
"What's my problem?" Joey was right in Pegasus' face, shouting at him, "What's my problem? I can't believe I'm hearin' you say that! You tried to kill my best friend, Pegasus!"
"Oh that -- You're right. I do feel guilty about doing that. I should go by and apologize to Yugi, shouldn't I?"
"Guilty? Apologize? That's your American solution for everything, isn't it?"
"You have one that's better?" Pegasus shouted back at Joey, inches away from his face.
"Yeah, pretty-boy -- It's called revenge."
"Oh, perfect," Pegasus waved one hand dismissively, "You'd be so much help to Yugi-boy, with a long prison sentence ahead of you!"
"Joey Wheeler takes his punishment. Unlike SOME people I could mention."
"I didn't do anything that's against the law." Pegasus said between gritted teeth.
"Oh yeah -- I forgot. There's no law against hurtin' people with magic is there?"
"Serious flaw in your penal code, I'll agree -- If there were, I'd have your little friend Bakura's butt behind bars on charges of assault and battery. And grand larceny."
"Yeah, well you'd be in the cell right next to him. And I don't think you'd enjoy playin' wife to some yakuza."
"And Bakura would?"
"Talkin' to you never does no good -- I should just --"
"You should just what?"
"I should do to you what you tried to do to Yugi."
"Oh, that's brilliant, Joseph," Pegasus turned and paced around the room. ""Positively ingenious, I'd say -- Then when they come to dig us out tomorrow they'll find me murdered and you frozen to death -- Sort of a two-for-one deal.-- At least my way we both survive. -- You can always come back later and kill me. You've managed to wait this long."
"That's only because I couldn't find you. You disappeared somewhere."
"You have my solemn promise not to disappear until AFTER you kill me this time, OK?" Pegasus' lips twitched in amusement.
Joey couldn't hold back an answering grin. "You know you look really stupid," he said, "Yellin' at me in that Father Christmas coat of yours. All you need is a holly wreath and a sack of toys."
"Well you look really stupid yelling at me while your butt slowly freezes off." Pegasus put out a gloved hand. "Truce?"
"Only until we get outa here."
"OK," Pegasus spread one blanket on the floor. "I really am sorry, you know," he said, "I never intended to hurtYugi."
"You coulda' fooled me," Joey growled, "Ya tried hard enough."
"Yeah, well --" Pegasus gestured with his hands, "I was trying to do something that really mattered to me -- It felt so close -- I don't know how to explain -- Like if I just did a little more -- I suppose you've never been in a situation like that?"
"You mean doin' something stupid and not realizin' how stupid it is until it's too late? I do stuff like that all the time."
"Wanting Cyndia back wasn't stupid." Pegasus protested, "Hurting Yugi was, though." He said glumly, "And letting that Bakura of yours into my castle was the stupidest of all!"
"If you mean the Spirit of the Millennium Ring," Joey said, "Don't go sayin' he's MY friend -- Guy's a freakin' lunatic! I don't want nothin' to do with him!"
"Maybe not, but you're still responsible for him getting into my castle. He came with you.
"Good -- That makes us even. You hurt Yugi, and Bakura hurt you."
"Does that mean you don't have to kill me?"" Pegasus pulled off his snow boots one by one.
"I'll decide that later. Let's get warmed up now. -- And don't watch while I undress."
"Huh! Like I'd want to!"
"Course ya would -- Everybody knows Joey Wheeler's got the hottest bod in Domino City."
"Oh is that so?" Pegasus quirked an eyebrow -- "I suppose you stand ready to prove that little assertion?"
"Don't have to --" Joey kicked off his snow boots. -- "Man, this floor is icy! -- You prove I'm not. -- You're the one with all the experience."
"Experience? What do you mean by that?" Pegasus removed his jacket and snow pants.
"You're the twisted one, not me." Joey unzipped his wet jacket and dropped it on top of his snow boots.
"Twisted -- What kind of a -- You're calling me -- You're saying that I'm --" Pegasus opened and closed his mouth like a fish out of water. "Good lord, how filthy-minded you children are these days!" he said loftily. He took off his ruffled shirt. Standing there in nothing but a pair of cartoon-patterened shorts, he looked comical, and a little cute, in a pale, too-skinny kind of way. Joey couldn't help but feel a growing liking for him.
"For your information, Joseph Wheeler," Pegasus said, crawling between the two blankets, "This is entirely about getting warm as far as I'm concerned." He pulled the shorts off under the blanket and tossed them to one side. "Anything else is entirely in your sick little imagination. If you want to get up to slap-and-a-tickle hijinks with Yugi-boy," he continued,
"Yugi and I would never!"
"Or Tristan --"
"Or even with Kaiba-boy --"
"With Kaiba? ME? That's just sick!" Joey made a disgusted face.
"You're right, Joseph," Pegasus made a similar face, "The mere thought is enough to scar me for life! I can no more imagine you with Kaiba-boy than I can myself -- Wait -- Bad example -- Well, than I can, um… Mokuba -- Anyway, to get back to what I was saying: All you are to me is a two-legged heating pad. And that's all I'll be to you. -- And don't you come pawing at me when I'm asleep. I know I'm irresistible to all you little duelist wannabees," he smirked, "But you'll just have to restrain yourself." He looked away ostentatiously while Joey finished undressing.
Joey stripped naked, and crawled between the two icy blankets. They were thin and stiff, kind of like construction paper.
"Only construction paper would probably be warmer," he thought.
"Get a little closer to me, will you?" Pegasus told him, "How are we going to get warm if you're way over there? I kind of thought one on top of the other would be the warmest," he added.
"You said you didn't want me pawin' at you."
"I said I didn't want you pawing at me when I was asleep. I'm awake right now -- And this isn't PAWING; it's THAWING."
"Oh! Pardon me for not seein' that subtle distinction!"
"Ooh! That was a good one!" Pegasus said delightedly, "You sounded almost like me! -- I wonder what would happen if we started going around together," he went on, "Would you rub off on me, and I'd start sounding like a yakuza, or would I rub off on you, and you'd end up sounding as snotty as I do? Just think of the looks on everyone's faces when we started talking! Oh, I'd love to see that!"
He was on top of Joey now, looking down at him with one friendly amber eye, peering from behind a curtain of hair. Very gently, he extended one finger and brushed a lock of blond hair out of Joey's eyes.
"Hey --" Joey protested, "Doesn't that count as pawin'?"
"Should it?" Pegasus asked. His voice was very soft. "Do you want it to, Joseph?"
Joey considered this. "Naw," he said, "I don't guess it should count. Mom's do that to their kids all the time."
"Well then this shouldn't count either," Pegasus bent and brushed his lips lightly over Joey's. "Mom's are always kissing their kids."
"I don't think they do it like THAT."
"Then how? -- You show me."
Joey thought some more. He was good and warm now, but he felt no desire to get loose from under Pegasus. Truth was, the man's attentions were kind of -- exciting. Or maybe it was just having all that naked human being pressed against him. Pegasus was erect -- Joey could feel it. He was starting to get there himself.
"OK, Pegasus," he said, "Um, lessee -- Do they do it like this? --" He grabbed Pegasus by the back of the neck and pulled his head down, kissing him hard.
Pegasus wrapped his arms around Joey and kissed him back.
"You know, we have to be careful," he said, breaking free at last, "If we roll around too much the covers will come off. And then we'll freeze."
"And then we'll warm each other up again."
"And then we'll freeze when the covers come off --"
"And then we'll warm each other up --"
"And then we'll freeze -- I'm starting to detect a pattern here."
"Well then let's break things up a little." Joey held Pegasus tight and rolled over, so that he was the one on top. He looked down at Pegasus and ran his tongue slowly over his lips.
"OK, bossy little rich boy," he said, "Now it's time for you to show me what ya got -- It's pretty easy to look good," he went on, "when you're payin- people to do whatever you say. Let's see what ya can do now -- When it's just you and me."
"You're squashing me, Joseph," Pegasus said, a little breathlessly, "Who'd have ever thought that you'd be so HEAVY -- You're not that large," he added thoughtfully, "so it must be soldi muscle."
"I've got you trapped, rich boy," Joey said, "Now -- Pay me homage."
"Oh, I'll pay you homage," Pegasus curled his arms around Joey's neck and pulled his head down. He ran his tongue lightly over the fleshy part of his ear and then began nibbling his earlobe. "We have lots of hours ahead of us," he said softly, "so I'll have to pay you lots of homage, won't I? -- Hours and hours and hours…"
The unpleasant stiff grey blanket made an enclosure of warmth around them. Joey put one arm under Pegasus head, protecting it a little from the hard stone floor. Underneath him, Pegasus was kissing him minutely, giving careful attention to each separate inch of his body. He buried his face in his hair, inhaling the spicy scent of European shampoo. Little flicks of cold outside air touched the back of his neck, but Joey could not remember ever having felt so warm and so comfortable.