'It's amazing,' contemplates Kaiba Seto, 'just how much difference to the atmosphere of a room one person can make. Especially when that person is Jonouchi Katsuya.'

It's first-thing Monday morning, and the aforementioned Kaiba Seto is only conscious thanks to the good graces of the God of Caffeine. More commonly known as chocolate-covered espresso beans.

He's luckier than most though, as Yuugi is sitting with half-closed eyes, mouth open and drooling slightly. Bakura's head keeps dropping to his chest, then jerking back up again as he attempts to stay awake. Honda has given up entirely, as he sleeps with his head in his arms, his arms folded on the desk and snoring slightly. Even Otogi's fan club are somewhat subdued.

In any other class, this would be a normal day. Here, it is known as the Monday-morning phenomenon. The silence has continued, unbroken, for almost an hour, and it's beginning to get unnerving. Seto feels like shifting in his seat slightly, but quells the urge just as the teacher coughs slightly and opens his mouth to-


"Sorry Mr Tanaka ah didn' mean ta be late but ma alarm clock died n ah couln' find ma other shoe an ah missed da bus an-!"

If silence could be killed, Jonouchi Katsuya has just hit it over the head with a 50 pound sledgehammer. Several times.

Yuugi sits bolt upright. Bakura falls off his chair in shock, and Honda flinches so badly his head hit the table.

The classroom seems to spring to life, as though Jonouchi's noise were contagious. He slips past Seto to his own seat with a sheepish grin under the icy glare of Mr Tanaka.

"What took you so long, Mutt? Slip your leash again?"

"Shaddap, Kaiba! Not ev'ryone 'as a limo ta drive 'em ta school! Sum of us hafta walk!"

Ahh…there it was. Kaiba. Not 'Mr Kaiba' or 'Sir' or 'Mr CEO'. There's no respect in the way Jonouchi says his name, just anger, exasperation and a slight hint of familiarity.

"How you manage to make a 15 minute walk take over an hour is beyond me, Mutt. I didn't think it was possible for you to be even more incompetent than you look."

Cold smirk firmly in place at Jonouchi's enraged blush, Seto reflects on the fact that he is going to have to put up with the near deafening background noise that seems to follow the annoying blonde wherever he goes.

The teacher already looks ready to pull his hair out. Otogi and Honda are laughing and throwing dice at each other around the headlock Honda has Jonouchi in (who is protesting. Loudly.), and Yuugi and Bakura appear to be having a slightly spiky glaring match. Complete with flying sparks.

'Yes,' Seto thinks, 'from semi-conscious silence to near-deafening noise in under six seconds.'

He sits back and stretches his legs out under the table.