Warnings/notes : Otogi/Honda, minimal hints at Seto/Joey, slightly silly, drabble-ish shortie, slightly ooc.
Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. I ah did a quick Google-search for 'Pop Rocks', but that's about the extent of my research. Please forgive me any errors I've made (after whacking me for them, of course.)
written at 30th october 2004, by Misura, in reply to a Trick-or-treat-challenge made in my livejournal by Bardicsidhe which offered as a subject:
"Honda, Otogi and Pop Rocks."
"Aren't these illegal?" Honda inquired, suspiciously staring at the bag in his hand as if it contained explosives.
Which it did, in a way, but not -really-.
Otogi sighed, foreseeing a lengthy argument to convince Honda of this fact. Perhaps, he reflected sourly, he should simply have limited his souvenirs to the cheap things that seemed to be sold everywhere around the world, with the names that were printed on them being the only thing to inform people about their place of purchase.
He'd wanted to get something special though, something you couldn't buy anywhere in Japan.
"Would I have gotten them past Customs if they were?" Otogi asked rhetorically. Of course, Honda answered anyway.
"You might, if the officer who checked your luggage was female."
Otogi made a face. "She was, not that it's any of your business. I barely escaped a strip-search."
Honda grinned. "Am I supposed to feel sorry for you because every woman who sees you want to tear off your clothes?"
"No, you're just supposed to appreciate the trouble I went through to get you -that-," Otogi snapped, gesturing at the bag. "I bought it as a gift; haven't you ever heard of the proverb about gift horses?"
"This is not a horse," Honda pointed out, in a tone so utterly reasonable that it made Otogi want to hit him. "But I get the hint."
"Great," Otogi muttered.
"So ... what did you get Anzu?" Honda inquired, placing the bag on the table.
"I didn't get Anzu anything." Otogi frowned. "Did she expect me to? I mean, I know she's very fond of some of those American dancers, and fan-stuff like that tends to be hard to get over here, but I wasn't aware there was anything in particular she wanted to have."
"Hm. Well, what about Yugi?" Honda leaned back in his seat.
"What about him?" Otogi demanded, slightly exasperated.
"Did you bring anything for -him-?" Honda clarified, his expression clearly stating that he considered Otogi to be an idiot for needing to have this explained to him. "Some English Duel Monsters-cards, maybe?"
"Like he doesn't already have thousands of those himself." Otogi rolled his eyes. "Really, Honda, use your brains for a moment. Yugi's the world-champion. Where do you think he was during all those weeks he was absent from school?"
"He said he went to America to ... oh." Honda grinned a bit sheepishly. "I guess there's not much fun in bringing a souvenir for someone who's already been there more often than you have."
"You can say that again. The only one who knows more about the way people do things in the U.S.A. is probably Kaiba." Otogi took a sip from his coffee. "I went to see him before I left, to get a few tips about how to behave and do business over there. He told me quite a bit, and he was surprisingly nice about it too."
"Probably because he wants something from you," Honda opined. "Kaiba never does anything if he doesn't profit from it in some way. Manipulative bastard."
"I think you're judging him a little bit too harshly." Otogi grinned. "Perhaps because he's been stealing your best friend away bit by bit?"
"Joey?" Honda shrugged. "We've been buddies for the longest of times, but we haven't been best friends since we hooked up with Yugi. I'm cool with that, really. I just don't want to see him get hurt, that's all. Kaiba can be pretty cold, and I've never heard he cares about anyone else than Mokuba."
"Well, you never know." Otogi shrugged.
"Did you get him some kind of present? Kaiba, I mean." Honda raised his hands as Otogi rolled his eyes. "As a way of saying 'thank you', for the help he gave you."
"I doubt if I could give Kaiba anything he couldn't have bought himself a thousand times over already." Otogi shook his head. "No, I guess I'll simply have to owe him a little favor. No big deal. Kaiba's been a C.E.O. long enough to know what's reasonable and what isn't. Don't underestimate the power of reputations; if Kaiba steps one inch out of the lines of what's acceptable in business, nobody'll want to have anything to do with him anymore. It's the price of his position as top-dog."
Honda didn't look entirely convinced, but apparently he was willing to let the subject rest. "Joey, then?"
"What is it with you?" Otogi groaned. "No, I didn't bring any American delicacies for the stomach on legs. What'd be the use? He hardly tastes what he eats anyway. Besides, me and him aren't that close. We're barely friends, and that much only thanks to Yugi."
"Shizuka? You bought her something special, didn't you?" Honda narrowed his eyes. "I should've known all that rubbish about having given up on her was nothing more than an act, a way to lure me into a false sense of security."
"Will you relax already?" Otogi slammed his hands on the table. "No, I didn't buy Shizuka anything. In fact, I haven't got the slightest idea where Shizuka is at the moment, nor do I care. I meant it when I said I wasn't chasing after her anymore. Why would I lie about that? It wasn't like -you- were having that much success either."
"Hmph." Honda crossed his arms over his chest, apparently not quite happy with being reminded of that last.
"And before you ask, no, I didn't come loaded with gifts for Bakura either. Or Mokuba. Or Yugi's Grandfather. Or Miho. Or whomever." Otogi glared at Honda.
"Just me, huh?" Honda asked, in a pensive tone.
"Yeah. It's a mystery to me why I bothered though, considering the thanks I've gotten thus far," Otogi snapped.
"Maybe you like me," Honda suggested.
"That's hardly probable," Otogi argued. "I mean, think about it. We've been running after the same girl for months. That'd be kind of crazy if we actually liked -each other-, wouldn't it?"
"Well, -I- might be level-headed and perfectly sane, but -you- ... 'kind of crazy' is actually a good description of what you're usually like." Honda smirked.
"Even if I fancied you, you'd never return the feeling. Would you?" Otogi asked, studiously casual.
"I wouldn't use a word like 'fancying', no," Honda admitted. "But aside from that ... "
"In that case ... " Otogi began.
Honda eyed him expectantly.
" ... you may express your boundless gratitude for my gift now."