Fruit-cookies

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Warnings/notes : Seto/Joey, hints at Yugi/Anzu and Otogi/Honda, slightly silly, drabble-ish shortie.

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

written at 8th july 2004, by Misura

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Anzu has brought fruit-cookies to school, a lunchbox full of them, to share them with her friends. She emphasizes that last word as she snatches the cookies out of Joey's reach, knowing that he'll eat them all if she gives him half a chance.

Yugi smiles at her, offering his sympathy and, perhaps, an unnecessary apology for Joey. She answers his smile, causing Joey to accuse Yugi of unfairly trying to get ahead of the rest of them. It's a silly accusation, and everyone knows it, so nobody replies.

Ryou remains quiet, as always, a shadow of an emotion on his face. Anzu can't quite decide which emotion it is that Ryou keeps hiding away from them, not even if it's good or bad. But he's still there, and he's not under the influence of any dark and creepy Spirit, so she figures he's all right. More or less.

To her left, Otogi is attempting to explain some elaborate game with dice and cards to Honda, who listens with the expression of a doomed man. In a way, Anzu supposes Honda has a valid reason for that, since Otogi comes up with a new game to play every two weeks, and thus far, Anzu has never seen Honda win.

Of course, winning isn't everything. Still, losing all the time can't be that much fun either. She has no idea if Otogi does it on purpose, if he gets some strange kick out of beating Honda time and time again. In spite of his fondness of being the center of attention, she sometimes gets the impression that Otogi's never really revealing himself, that he's posing as someone else.

Maybe Honda has seen the 'real' Otogi, maybe that's why he sighs resignedly and picks up the cards now, instead of throwing them back on the table, telling Otogi he won't play. Normally, Honda's not the type to do things he doesn't want to do, including, far too often, homework.

Anzu decides that she's kind of hungry, and that she's tortured Joey long enough (though really, if someone denying him a home-made fruit-cookie is the worst thing anyone has ever done to him, he should count himself lucky).

She offers Yugi the first cookie, because he's Yugi and her boyfriend and the nicest person she knows on top of that. He accepts with another one of his smiles, a shy one that's saying 'thank you' and more. It makes her blush for no reason that she can put into words.

Ryou's next, in spite of Joey's sputtering. He thanks her so politely she wants to jump up and shake some normalcy back into him. She doesn't, obviously. Jumping up to shake people through one another in the middle of lunch-break just isn't something you can do.

After Ryou, she hesitates. Otogi and Honda are engrossed in their game, and Joey's whining is so loud that it makes her feel reluctant to reward him. Her gaze wanders around, spotting the last member of their little group, even if he'd never see himself as such.

Kaiba is, as ever, sitting a short distance away from Joey. Far enough to pretend it's merely a coincidence that he's there, yet close enough to hear everything that Joey says. His lunchbox is standing on a table next to him, its contents untouched.

Anzu wonders why he bothers taking such a big amount of food to school, if he's not going to eat it. In her case, it's her mother who packs her lunch and makes her promise she'll eat it all, but Kaiba's living on his own. With Mokuba.

Yugi is looking encouragingly at her, as if he thinks she should offer Kaiba one of her cookies as well, in spite of all the things he has done to -not- deserve it. After the dozens of times Kaiba has spat on Yugi's offer of friendship, she'd think Yugi knows better. Besides, Kaiba'll probably refuse anyway. She doesn't think he's the type of person to enjoy sweet things.

Joey makes a grab for her lunchbox again, and there's this flicker in Kaiba's eyes, like he's amused. Not in his usual, 'you're such a pathetic excuse for a human'-kind of way, but in a way that she'd almost call 'innocent', if it hadn't been Kaiba.

Throwing a glance that says he owes her for this at Yugi, Anzu holds out the cookies to Kaiba. Perhaps she's overdoing things a little, making her voice drip a little bit too much with fake honey as she asks him if he'd like one, but, well, it's Kaiba. He should know by now she doesn't approve of his attitude.

She's sorely tempted to avert her eyes, to take a peek at Joey's expression, only Kaiba's staring at her as well, and she'll be damned if she gives him the impression she's scared of him.

Kaiba smiles, suddenly and so briefly that she's not sure if she hasn't imagined it, and nods his head. He does it arrogantly, naturally, being Kaiba, yet it's still more of a response than Anzu's expected. She needs a prompt from Yugi to extend her lunchbox a bit further, so that Kaiba can pick his cookie without needing to get up from his chair.

Joey makes a soft noise, rising and reaching for something. At first, Anzu thinks he's lost his patience, or, who knows, shares her opinion about Kaiba not having the right to any of her cookies and wants to prevent this injustice by gobbling them all up himself.

Kaiba's hand kind of freezes, as his gaze follows Joey's movements, watching how Joey ignores Anzu's treasured cookies and goes for something completely different.

Anzu opens and closes her mouth, wondering if it's possible that Joey's lost his mind. Or maybe she's dreaming, because what she's seeing makes no sense.

Joey picks up Kaiba's stuffed lunchbox, as if it's his own and calmly returns to his place at the table. He's not even looking at Kaiba, which Anzu thinks he should, unless he wants Kaiba's retribution to take him by complete surprise.

Kaiba's hand finally descends, taking one of the cookies. Yugi prods Anzu, reminding her it's somewhat impolite to gawk at people, and she dazedly holds out her lunchbox to Honda and Otogi, who have interrupted their game to watch the show.

Joey has taken some delicacy out of Kaiba's lunchbox; it looks pretty expensive, though Anzu doesn't have a clue what it is, or even what its ingredients are. Four pairs of eyes are fixed on him as he devours it, and three people wince at his table-manners (or lack thereof).

Anzu looks over to where Kaiba is sitting, acting for all the world like he doesn't know any of them. He's typing up some document on his laptop. It's almost enough to convince her she's only been imagining the past five minutes. Almost.

There's half a fruit-cookie lying next to Kaiba's cup of coffee.

Ten minutes later, when the bell rings, the fruit-cookie's gone, as well as Kaiba's lunch, its container tucked back into his briefcase.

Anzu wonders if she should bring cookies to school more often.

OWARI

A/N: And the lesson of the story: if your little brother insists on packing your lunch, get a boyfriend who likes to eat. -winks- Something along those lines, at any rate.