Title: A Love / Hate Relationship With Spring - Epilogue
Beta: Jennie B.
Disclaimer: Are you serious? Oh, OK. I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh, I just twist it around and use it for my own perverted satisfaction. Don't look at me like that. I'm not the only one. points finger You're reading this, after all.
Summary: Joey Wheeler has no shortage of reasons to hate the season of flowers, butterflies, and rebirth. Can someone unexpected give him a reason to enjoy it as well?
A/N: Review responses follow after the epilogue.
WHEN WE LAST LEFT OUR HEROES...
Seto cracked one eye and observed Joey studying him intently. He sighed tiredly. He was SO not up to dealing with this right now. He just wanted sleep. "The rusty gears turning in that big, idiotic head of yours are keeping me awake." He reached up to tug at Joey's shoulders, arranging him comfortably to his own liking. "Stop thinking and go to sleep, Mutt."
Joey snuggled back against his former rival, idly musing at how swiftly life was apparently returning to normal. He placed one hand over Seto's and immediately fell fast asleep.
Something felt odd. Very odd.
Seto turned his face to the side and hesitantly opened one eye. His vision was filled with a riot of burnished gold, and his arms were wrapped around something firm and warm. He blinked, realizing his face was buried in an unruly mop of soft blond hair that was tickling his nose.
His memory returned to him in a rush, and a smile crept over his sleepy features, slow and satisfied. He rolled over onto his side and gazed down at his bedmate. Joey was still sleeping peacefully, and hadn't budged an inch from where he had finally collapsed the night before. Seto swept some hair away from his lover's pale face and watched him in fascination, listening to his slow, even breathing.
He leaned down to press a kiss behind Joey's ear and tucked the sheets back around the sleeping form. He briefly curled back up against the blond when he realized that where their skin wasn't touching, he was too cold. Reluctantly, he finally pulled himself out of the comfortable, warm bed and strode over to the window. He leaned forward, one arm against the frame, and looked out on the new day. The sun, recently risen, beat down on the quiet street outside. Seto stretched languidly and smiled to himself again. It was going to be another glorious Spring day.
Retrieving his discarded clothing, he quietly dressed, bemoaning his lack of shoes. This thought brought yet another pleased smirk to his face, as his mind replayed the strange events of the previous day, culminating in the pleasurable activities of the night before. He shook his head, bemused. He couldn't go around grinning like an idiot all day. He had things he had to do.
The first and foremost being to call his limo driver to take him home. He made a brief search for the phone, and once found, Seto realized he had no idea what Joey's address was. He sighed in frustration, and slipped silently out of the bedroom. He checked all the likely places, and finally found a small pile of mail sitting on an end table. He shuffled through the letters, wryly noting that all the bills were in Joey's name. He made the call to his driver, obviously waking the man but unable to bring himself to care. His mind was already preoccupied with his schedule for the day, plans slowly taking shape in his mind. Seto's agenda included some additional first aid as one of his top priorities. His injured feet had started to throb again the moment he awoke, and he was amused to note that he had temporarily forgotten all about them. It was amazing how mind-blowing sex could cause one to ignore any number of debilitating traumas.
He waited patiently by the front window for his driver to arrive, and debated waking the apartment's still-sleeping resident. He felt strangely reluctant to slip out the door without any warning, but Seto had no idea what to say to the other boy. He felt that a little time and distance would help restore his equilibrium where Joey was concerned, and he reasoned that the blond would be likely to appreciate some recovery time as well. Seto ran his hand through his hair, unaccustomed to giving these matters so much thought. He told himself that it was simply because he recognized a lot of his own characteristics in the mutt, and he was merely reacting in a natural manner by acknowledging that perception. This obsession was sure to run its course if he were patient. In the meantime, he planned on purchasing his own copy of Mortal Kombat: Deception and practicing non-stop until he was confident he could best his opponent in a rematch. He certainly wouldn't complain if they ended up in bed again as a result.
Continuing that line of thought, he frowned as he recalled Joey's unfortunate dilemma with his employer. J. Wallace Toomey was going to have Seto's undivided attention after tomorrow's board meeting, and he was sure to leave the CEO's office a broken and humbled man. Seto was eagerly looking forward to it. He'd been longing for any kind of excuse to take down the pretentious twit, and this one had literally fallen right into his lap.As a businessman, he'd always thoroughly appreciated the efficiency involved in killing two birds with one stone.
This left Joey's financial problems still unsolved, however, and he wracked his brain for an acceptable solution to that as well. Seto himself had recently fired a caretaker and was unsure if the position had been filled as of yet. Perhaps if he were to phrase his idea the right way... He smiled ruefully to himself. Dealing with Joey Wheeler's unpredictable temperament was going to be akin to navigating across a floor covered in broken glass. He would just have to close his eyes and make a dash for it, hoping for the best. The position didn't pay all that well, but it did include free room and board on the grounds, and Seto liked the idea of having Joey close at hand. In fact, it gave him all sorts of interesting ideas. He shifted his weight restlessly and glanced toward the blond's room. He was unwilling to give his lustful thoughts free rein just yet, or he would end up back in Joey's bed, best intentions be damned.
On the street below, he saw the sleek black limousine maneuver itself to a stop at the curb in front of Joey's building, his driver stepping out to wait patiently. Seto knew the man was a professional, but even HE would be hard pressed not to show any reaction to his employer's lack of footwear and rumpled state. Seto knew he looked freshly fucked, and he didn't give a damn. He paid a lot of money for his personal staff's total discretion, and today he would get the perfect opportunity to test that high-priced loyalty.
Giving one last, longing glance at the closed bedroom door, he made his way out of the apartment, slipping the bolt behind him. He shuffled down the stairs with a lightness to his steps that hadn't been there before. He felt a little giddy and stupid, so he shot his bewildered driver a blinding smile as he sauntered out onto the sidewalk. He snidely imagined that the man must be convinced his normally reserved employer was just short of twirling madly in a circle and breaking into song. But why should he care? It was a beautiful Spring day and Seto Kaiba had big plans to make.
the real end
(There's gonna be a sequel! Woo-hoo!)
Wow. You are one dedicated reviewer, you know that? (hugs) I'm thrilled you like it so far, and the encouragement has been MOST welcome. (and needed!) Hearing you like the dialogue so much gives me a warm glow - it's the part that always gets written first, and the rest is just fill-in-the-blanks. I work really hard on what I want them to say, as I feel it's one of the most important parts of characterization. It's nice to know it's appreciated! LOL, I'm glad the fluff held you over for a bit. I was more than ready for that lemon myself.
(laughs) I'm glad you got a kick out of my little dream sequence! And I swear to you, there was no cold medicine involved, prescription or otherwise. I'm just really that warped. No, really! I feel a little bad for the fire ants thing, but we do what's necessary to move that plot along... (snickers) I hope I didn't get you in trouble at work, but I don't feel bad for making you laugh! (hugs) The link I've mentioned earlier (which can be found under the author's info above) is to LiveJournal, and I wouldn't anticipate a problem with visiting that site at work, but just in case, I want you to feel free to email me directly, and I will send the missing chapter directly to your inbox. Provided that FanFictionDotNet decides to bust me on that M rating... Anyhoo, I'll be glad to send it your way - Now THAT's service with a smile! Here's hoping it all works out OK, and thanks for the reviews!
Hikari Raine -
So you found the "cow" thing funny? Had you ever heard it before? That's something I remember very clearly from Middle School, and damned if it doesn't WORK. Try it some time and see. Duke knows what he's talking about! Thanks for the review, and I hope you're still laughing at this point!
Well, here's your update (technically) and thanks for the review! (hugs) Hope you enjoyed the ending!
Another one who's been with me since the beginning! (glomps) Thanks for hanging around and yes, "funnily" IS a word. I think. (shrugs) Oh, and thanks for not jinxing me with your mention of the dreaded writer's block (shudders) Let us never speak of it again... Hee. I'm so glad you caught onto Yami's little aside about Tea's boobs. The pharaoh's going to play a big part in the sequel and I'm planning on giving him a rather droll sense of humour. Can't have Duke and his wayward hands hogging all the spotlight, now can we?
It's nice to hear that you enjoyed the dream sequence so much. I've been breaking my own arm patting myself on the back for that one... (blushes) Yeah, I'm smug. I'm not proud of much, but I am particularly fond of that little tidbit. Thanks for noticing.
Here's that update you were poking me for. (pokes back) As for the gum thing...internet research tells me that peanut butter works for that too! Some sites said toothpaste, but the majority claimed that PB was the way to go. Hope it helps. (hugs)
(SQUEES and glomps) You thought it was beautiful? (toes ground) Aw, shucks. I'm SO glad you liked it! I put a lot of thought into those little squabbles the boys keep having, and I hope you don't find the "hook-up" too implausible. It's a simple enough thing to make the bishies fall in bed, but fall in LOVE? That's going to have to wait for the sequels, I'm afraid... If you fall down laughing again, try not to hurt yourself too badly, OK? (hugs)
Generally Maz -
Speaking of falling down laughing - OMG, your first review had me rolling! (wipes happy tear) So much said with so few words. I'm still snickering about it now. I also love the poor, clueless puppy, but hopefully he'll get his act together and assist Kaiba with his, uh...problem. (wicked grin)
Nightmare Senshi -
(blinks) Honestly, I'd probably feel bad if killed someone with my fic (you really shouldn't read the one I'm working on now, then), but I'm positively tickled that it made you laugh that hard. Thanks for the review AND the cookies! (bonus!) Hope you like lemon!
Obscured Illusions -
(nods) Humour and romance - Yep, that's what I was going for. Thanks for dropping me a line and I hope the rest of it rubbed you the right way as well. I know SOMEONE got rubbed the right way in chapter 7... (smiles innocently)
(hugs) You seemed to find PLENTY of good words to describe how much you liked it! I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to let me know what you thought of it. If you're a hopeless romantic, then I hope chapter 7 and the epilogue didn't disappoint you TOO much. Since this fic is taking place over the course of a single wild, weird spring day, I could justify Joey and Seto falling in the sack together, but not quite falling in LOVE. Despite the development of Seto's character in chapter 6, he's still a long way from cuddly, IMHO. Hence, the sequel. I'm planning on taking the other 3 seasons of the year and using them as a background for the relationship that's being built. There will be romance aplenty eventually, but I'm gonna drag them thru the muck first, I think. (evil laugh) Oh, the ANGST! I'm writing as fast as I can...
Wow! What an awesome review! (glomps) I put a lot of thought into those word choices, and my poor thesaurus is just about to fall to pieces. I like hearing that my efforts are appreciated. I wanted to bring a definite sense of realism to this fic (yes, I KNOW it's a cartoon, but still...) so the characterization and plausibility are important factors to me. If that attitude is coming across to you, the reader, then my work here is done. Well, almost. "Spring" was written for a "first time" challenge at A Dragon's Lair, and I wanted the lemon to convey that uneasy, tentative feeling as well. First times are hardly ever remarkable, and I struggled with making it believable as well as sexy! I hope you think I've pulled it off.
Spanks for the review! More action coming your way! I actually named an OC police detective after you in my next fic, can you believe it? Hope you don't take offense to the fact that he's kind of an idiot. (ducks)
This is it! This is the end! Well, almost. I might have mentioned there's an epilogue. Oh look! There it is, up there! (points up) Oh, and a sequel too! 3 of them! (laughs) I guess I just can't let this one go, huh? I'm glad you liked it, for reals.
Aha! You're caught! You were only reading this far hoping for some "lemony freshness", eh? Well, your wish is my command. Did chapter meet with your approval? (winks)
Hunt me down? OK, now you're all freaking me out here! (hugs) Nah, I already said how much I heart stalkers! Hope the ending didn't disappoint! (whispers) And please don't hurt me...
OK! OK! I will! I will! (pokes) You're hyper, you know that? Hope you enjoyed the finale, and stay tuned for the sequel!