Pleasure before business
Warnings/notes: Otogi/Honda, Kaiba/Joey, slightly silly/ooc, might contain incorrect monetary details, two/three-shot.
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.
written at 16th march 2005, by Misura, in reply to a meme-challenge made in my livejournal by Bardicsidhe which offered the pairing Otogi/Honda and the line: "This isn't what I ordered!"
"Come on, man, you have to help me out here!" Joey protested, as Honda just about choked on his drink upon hearing what it was that Joey had wanted to talk to him about.
He should have known it'd be something like this, really, Honda mused sourly. Especially when Joey offered to buy him lunch. Joey might be dating a billionaire nowadays, but Honda knew his friend well enough to seriously doubt if Joey ever accepted so much as a hundred-yen note from Kaiba, quite aside from the matter that Kaiba wasn't exactly known for his generosity either.
"I don't have to do anything!" Honda glared at Joey. "What's this about anyway? I thought you and Kaiba were just getting to know each other, seeing if you could stand being together for more than fifteen minutes. And now he has you doing stuff like -this- for him, like you're his ... his -dog- or something?"
Maybe, Honda decided, comparing Joey to a 'dog' had not been that smart. If looks could kill, there'd be one very dead body sitting in his seat right now.
"You ... " Joey's face was flushed. Had there been the slightest chance that this was out of shame, Honda might have felt a little better at that. "You think -Kaiba- put me up to this? Like I'd ever do a single thing for that bastard! Do you know what he said to me last night!"
O-kay. Time to change the subject, because Honda could definitely do without the knowledge of Kaiba's private life, whether it involved his ex-best friend or not.
"So ... what's in it for you, then?" Honda asked. "It seems to me that the only people who'd profit from this --if- I was going to do it, which I'm not- would be Kaiba. And maybe Otogi." he added, after a moment's thought.
"-You-'d get something you want, too," Joey remarked. "And -I- wouldn't have to put up with Kaiba being all bitchy and stressed out for a while. -That-'s what in it for me."
Honda considered this for a while.
"I don't want ... -that-. Definitely not when it's only part of some stupid plan of yours to get some action. If you really were my friend, you wouldn't even -think- about asking me to do this." Honda shook his head.
"Rubbish. Two times rubbish." Joey snorted. "You should simply think of it as a question of timing. We both know you're going to get snuggly with Otogi some time, so why not now? As your -friend-, I'm only trying to give you a little push in the right direction."
"Sure. And they spotted flying pigs today at the observation-deck of the Tokyo Tower." Honda finished his drink and started on the rest of his food.
"Really? I hadn't heard that yet. Must have been some sort of holographic projection," Joey replied, sounding thoughtful. "Though I sure don't know any Duel Monsters that look like flying pigs."
Honda stared at him. Joey was grinning. After a few seconds, Honda returned his attention to his fries.
"You're my best friend, Honda," Joey continued, softly and more seriously. "And you're the only one who can help me with this. I need you."
Honda studiously refrained from lifting his gaze, to indicate that he was Not Impressed.
"And I bought you lunch." Joey kicked him under the table, just hard enough to cause Honda to lose his grip on the handful of fries he'd been about to dip into one of the little cups of sauce that had come with their menus. "That's worth something, too, right?"
'Seven-hundred yen', Honda'd have liked to answer, while throwing the money into Joey's face. Unfortunately, at the moment, he was completely, depressively broke. 'Seven-hundred yen. That hardly compares to risking losing a good friend, does it?'
Instead, he allowed his shoulders to slump, as a last, silent protest.
"Oh, all right."
As soon as he entered the game-shop -or rather 'the other game-shop', as Anzu had referred to it once, half-jokingly, only to have the title somehow picked up by the rest of them- Honda knew that he hadn't come at a good moment.
For starters, he wasn't greeted by Otogi's voice, cheerfully calling out to him in welcome. He did hear Otogi's voice, only it sounded far from cheerful, and its words weren't directed at him, but rather at some unfortunate person Otogi appeared to be speaking to over the phone.
"I don't -care- what your database says, Mister ... Machigaemasu, wasn't it? This isn't what I ordered, and I can prove that, too, so unless you want to ... hello? Hello?" Otogi groaned and put down his cell-phone, finally noticing Honda.
"Did I come at a bad time?" Honda inquired, half-hoping that Otogi would say 'yes'.
"No, no, things are just a bit hectic right now, that's all." Otogi waved his concerns away, not quite managing a smile. "See that box over there?" Otogi gestured at a big, brown box that stood on the center of the counter. "It was -supposed- to contain a load of assorted dice -the usual mix, with some d8s, some d10s, a couple of d4s and d100s, and some other stuff- but instead, they're all d6es. Worse, they're all -plain- d6es. There's -no- way I'm ever going to be able to sell those, only when I called the company who sent them to me, they refused to admit someone'd made some stupid mistake."
Otogi's cell-phone started to ring.
"Grab a drink from the fridge in the office, if you want. This shouldn't take too long." Otogi picked up his cell-phone, grabbing a set of papers with his other hand. "Ah, Mister Kengen, how good of you to give me a personal call. Yes, I agree that this is all a most unpleasant business, that should be resolved as quickly as possible. I'm sure that between the two of us, we'll be able to find a solution, satisfactory to both of us."
More because he had little desire to listen to Otogi sucking up to some big cheese in the dice-industry -if there was such a thing; until he'd seen the special dice-corner in Otogi's shop, Honda'd been sure that dice were a thing of the twentieth century, only found in old-fasioned board-games- than because he was really thirsty, Honda made his way to 'the office'.
In present days, Otogi didn't really use the room for any official purpose anymore; it had merely become a room for himself and his employers to take their breaks in. All the administrative stuff was handled by Otogi personally, on his laptop, and most of the paperwork was done at Otogi's apartment.
Joey claimed that Otogi had gone paranoid, but Otogi himself maintained that he'd learned a few lessons from Kaiba and his trouble with keeping the ownership of Kaiba Corp., as well as its secrets. (Joey had remarked that Otogi's corporation was 'small fry' compared to a multi-national like Kaiba Corp. The conversation had gone downhill rather quickly from there.)
Somewhat to Honda's surprise, the negotiations seemed to be done by the time he returned to the central part of the shop. Otogi stood leaning against the counter, a weary expression on his face.
"Here, I brought this one for you," Honda said, handing a can of green ice-tea ('with extra herbs and ginseng', the label announced proudly) to Otogi, who nodded his thanks.
"I'm afraid I'm not really going to be much in the way of pleasant company today." Otogi sighed. "That shark Kengen's going to 'check the available data', which is just a polite way to say he's not going to do a thing, unless I can find a way to force him. But he knows as well as I do that there's no way I'm going to take this to court, considering what that'd cost me. And you probably didn't come here to listen to my complaints about running a company, so do tell me why you did come. I could use a bit of a distraction."
"Well," Honda started, wondering if this fitted right in with his involuntary 'mission' or not, "if you've got someone to watch the shop, we could take my bike to go somewhere."
"Urimasu's supposed to be here in five minutes, so the shop's not a problem," Otogi assured him. "Besides, it's not like there are many customers at this time; it's a little too early in the afternoon for school-kids, and most people our age aren't really into games anymore."
Honda frowned, wanting to ask Otogi what he meant by that, if Otogi himself also wasn't 'really into games anymore', but for the moment, he decided it was better to let the subject rest.
"Oh. That's cool then," he observed.
"Yeah." Otogi grinned, though Honda had no idea about the reason for his amusement.
x- to be concluded/continued in the second part -x