Incognito
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Warnings/notes: Seto/Joey, slightly silly, shortie, a one-line hint at shoujo-ai.

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. This ficlet is best read while listening to Jolemaire's 'Anonyme Incognito', but ah well ... you can do without too.

written at 2nd january 2005, by Misura, in reply to an Anniversary-challenge made by Caecuslupa which offered the bones of the plotbunny for this ficlet.

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In theory, Joey had always known the risks of on-line dating-sites, of course. Everyone knew that you couldn't trust people on there to be completely, 100 percent truthful about themselves, be it about looks or personality.

Joey himself was listed as an 'intelligent, spontaneous young man who's good at sports'. At first, he also wanted to mention something about being an excellent Duelist, but Honda had pointed out that might make him sound like a dork or a geek, putting him in the same category as the Rex Raptors and Weevil Underwoods of this world.

Thus, no mentionings of Duel Monsters. And no remark that Joey's favorite form of sport was to jog to the Burger tent to grab some breakfast, lunch or dinner. Joey figured that, somehow, those two things canceled each other out, leaving him with a clean conscience.

In the department of looks, Joey had described himself as possessing 'blonde hair' -Honda had joked about calling them 'golden locks', for which Joey had whacked him with great satisfaction- and being 'lean and slim, not overly muscled but not looking like a wuss either'.

He'd been tempted to add something about not looking like a dog, puppy or mutt either, but Honda had quite reasonably observed that if Joey was to mention all the kinds of animals he didn't resemble, his profile would become a very long and boring read.

What he -had- included was the remark that, in principle, he was open for proposals of both genders. After all, he'd been pretty much hung up on Mai, but she'd never returned a single one of his long-distance phone-calls. Or, when he did get a hold of her, she sounded grumpy and snarly, coldly informing him that he had woken her up from some nice dream.

Otogi, in a rare -and thus suspicious- burst of helpfulness, had told him that he ought to try calling her in the afternoon, but Joey was smarter than that; everyone knew girls spent their afternoons doing 'stuff', so he wasn't going to interrupt her at that time. Besides, what kind of lazy-bones wasn't out of bed yet at noon? No, the truth was that Mai simply didn't like him.

And since Joey had somehow always had the impression that Mai -did- like him, even if it was just a little bit, he'd concluded that he wasn't very good at understanding girls. Thus, because any relationship had to be built on understanding each other, he'd decided that he might as well try to date guys.

It all made perfect sense to Joey.

Of course, he hadn't actually shared his logic with anyone else; they might think he was -gay-. And being 'gay' was something like having cooties; Not Good. Never mind that he'd been in love with a girl first, which definitely proved that he was straight; if anyone like Otogi or, worse yet, Kaiba would hear half a word about all of this, he'd be in one big mess.

In the first week of his browsing through the profiles on the site -which was, Joey was somewhat amused to discover- based around a piece of software provided by Kaiba Corp. he discovered one very nice girl, who seemed perfect for him.

Too perfect, in fact; he'd gone to their first date with his hopes kept carefully low. That turned out to be a good thing, if not for the reasons he'd expected. The girl in question was, indeed, everything she had claimed to be in her profile. She was also someone he knew quite well already, since he'd practically grown up with her.

Shizuka -for it was her- confessed that Anzu and Miho had convinced her to give the site a try, since they were both hooked up with boys already and now wanted to play match-maker, Joey suspected.

He strictly forbade her to go on any more blind-dates and delivered a blistering preach to Anzu and Miho at school the next morning. To which Anzu replied with just as blistering a defense -which was the best kind, since it was more of an attack than a defense. Yami, when the situation was explained to him, agreed with Anzu, but since Joey later overheard him asking Yugi what a 'site' was, he didn't consider Yami's opinion very valid.

In the second week, he ran into another person who expressed an interest in meeting him face to face. Somewhat excited at his apparent popularity -granted, Shizuka hadn't been the date he'd hoped for, but there was nothing wrong with her taste- Joey agreed to have lunch together.

His date generously offered to pay for the food, which enabled Joey to brush aside Otogi's nasty remarks about nobody being able to see Joey eat and still wanting to get to know him better. Otogi was, obviously, jealous. That thought, along with the prospect of free food put Joey in an excellent mood for the three days before the lunch.

It only took one look and the fraction of a second that it took his brains to accept that what his eyes were telling him was, in fact, the truth. And that very ugly truth was that his date was Kaiba.

Kaiba, being Kaiba, and thus by definition a complete and utter bastard, coolly informed him that unless Joey'd care to have the fact that he was interested in dating people of the same gender as himself, he'd better agree to go out with Kaiba, as often as Kaiba wanted him to and to any place Kaiba'd care to take him.

Joey whined, objected, screamed and protested against the injustice of Kaiba, people who used their websites for personal purposes, and the world in general.

Kaiba was Not Impressed and informed the slightly worried waiter that Joey was merely his slightly high-strung boyfriend who'd calm down in a moment and wouldn't chase away any more customers by his yelling. When Joey made an attempt to prove him wrong, he smugly reminded Joey who was the main sponsor of the school's newspaper and thus could be assured that an article by his hand would be placed as soon as possible.

Joey chose the only option he had, silently swearing a bloody revenge and, of course, making a solemn promise to make his displeasure at being forced to spend time in the company of Kaiba well known to the object of his hatred.

By the time he figured out that Kaiba had given him the same weapon he had wielded against Joey, because whyever would a straight person want to go on dates with another guy, if it wasn't for the fact that he was, in fact, not straight, the trouble of breaking up with Kaiba didn't seem to be worth it anymore.

Mai sent them a pretty cool card to congratulate them on their one-year anniversary the next year. She also mentioned sideways that she was seeing someone herself, a young lady whose name might be familiar to Joey and whom she'd gotten to know through this dating-site that Kaiba had helped to design; she'd tell him the details some other time.

OWARI

A/N: Why I made this a dialogue-less fic? Your guess is as good as mine, I'm afraid.