Title: Five Days to a Relationship

Author: Wodenschild

Rating: PG-13

Beta: Jennie B. Hugs

Pairing(s): Seto/Joey

Spoilers: None, it's AU.

Disclaimer: I do not own Yugioh or the characters therein

Summary: It takes quite a while to build a relationship, on the other hand, sometimes it only takes five days.

AN: Okay before we start this is an AU. No duel monsters, no spirts, no millienum items. It's set in Anywhere, USA hence all dub names. Joey lives with his mom and sis, and Kaiba lives in his deceased uncle's mansion with his brother.

Five days to a Relationship

Thursday

Joey ignored his sister as he flipped through the TV stations. "MOM! Joey just said he's not driving me!" Serenity whined, stamping her feet. Joey glared at her as he slouched further down into the couch, trying to avoid parental wrath. Hearing the annoyed footsteps from the kitchen, he groaned.

"Joey! You know very well you promised to take Serenity to her party so don't even try to get out of it. I can't take her; I have class that night," his mother scolded, glaring at her son.

"But mom! The guys and I..."

"You and Tristan weren't planning on dragging poor Yugi on one of your Hell Night escapades, were you?" she demanded, glaring down at him as she smacked a spatula against her hand.

Joey cowered further down into the couch. "Hehe, of course not mom, wouldn't dream of it."

"Good. Because if I have to take one more irate phone call from Yugi's mom on how you're corrupting her boy, or listen to his grandfather lecture me on how 'boys will be boys,' I will take back those cars keys until you're twenty!" She turned to go back to the kitchen. "You're taking Serenity to that party, and that's final!"

Once their mom was safely back in the kitchen, Serenity giggled and stuck her tongue out at Joey. "Joey got in trouble, Joey got in trouble," she taunted.

Joey tackled her to the couch as he hissed, "That's it; you're dead, Squirt." The subsequent giggles could be heard all the way in the kitchen where Hannah Miller, the former Mrs. Wheeler, merely rolled her eyes and breathed an exasperated, 'Children!'

Meanwhile, across town:

"But Set-o!" Mokuba whined. "It's going to be THE party of the year! I've got to go!"

Seto glared down at his little brother. "That's too bad. I have to meet with the lawyers about your guardianship, and I don't have time to drop you off and pick you up."

Mokuba glared back up at him. "You just don't want me to have any fun! You want me to be just like you!"

"Mokuba!"

"Please! I really have to go!"

Seto sighed and asked, "What is so important about THIS party?"

Mokuba blushed and looked down at the floor. "Well, there's this girl..."

Seto stared at his brother. "Mokuba, you're eleven; aren't you a little young for that?"

Mokuba blushed and glared at him. "Just because you want to spend your life alone doesn't mean I do! She's really nice and pretty and if you mess this up for me, I'll never forgive you!" With that last parting shot, Mokuba stomped out of the room.

Seto scowled at the door. "Who says I want to spend my life alone? Just because I don't take all the little fangirls at school up on their offers, it does not mean I don't want to date." He turned back to his desk and continued to rearrange it. "I have to talk to lawyers, and fend off social workers. But do I get any thanks? Do I get any gratitude for not throwing my brother into foster care? Oh no! Seto, I need a ride; Seto, I ran out of allowance; Seto why aren't you home more often?" He collapsed in frustration into the chair. "Why did I fight for custody again?" Seto went over the last three years-they had moved in with his Father's uncle after the car crash and, when that man died suddenly there had been a tremendous upheaval. With all their parent's money currently tied up in trust funds, it was lucky that their uncle had left some management money for the care of the house and grounds.

"Because you love me, even when I'm an utter brat?"

Seto swivelled his chair around to face the doorway where a guilty looking Mokuba stood. "Yes, well there is that."

"Sorry, Seto. I know all this legal stuff's been tough, especially since Uncle Kaiba died, too. I just really wanted to go to the party."

Seto sighed. "And I wish I could take you, but the appointments have already been canceled twice; any more and they're going to think I'm not serious," he explained. "Is there any one else you could go with?"

Mokuba brightened. "I hadn't thought of that. I could probably hitch a ride with Serenity's brother."

Seto winced. "Please, I'd feel better if you refrained from using 'hitch'." This statement caused Mokuba to break out in giggles.

Friday

Mokuba bit his lip as he tried to figure out the best approach to asking. 'Hey Serenity, going to Jack's party?...no, that's stupid. Please can I bum a ride?… No, too desperate. Why is talking to girls so hard?'

"Mokuba?" Serenity whispered as she leaned across the desk. "Everything okay? You're still going to Jack's party, right?"

"Oh, uh, yeah. Just have to find a ride-Seto has lawyer stuff to take care of."

Serenity blinked then suggested, "Oh, why don't you just come with me? I'll tell Joey to drop by your house about one, okay?"

"Sure, that'd be great. Thanks!" Mokuba blinked in surprise. 'That was easier then I thought...'

"Mr. Kaiba, Miss Wheeler. Are you two quite through? Can we get back to math now?" Both guilty parties blushed and slumped in their seats. "Yes, Mrs. Hoover," they echoed in unison.

"Sorry guys, I lost the car for the night," Joey said sheepishly.

Tristan rolled his eyes. "What did you do this time?" he asked as Joey growled and punched him.

Tea glared at the three of them. "Serves you three right; I don't know what -exactly- you had planned, but from the way Tristan's been grinning it couldn't have been too good, or very legal."

Yugi blushed. "Tea, we weren't really gonna do anything that bad."

"You I'd believe, but with those two involved..." she sighed.

"Hey! I resemble that remark!" Joey said, causing the other three to break out into laughter. "Actually, Sere needs a ride to this party and Mom's got some class to go to."

"That's okay Joey, we'll do it next week," Yugi said gently, patting him on the back.

Suddenly, Tristan choked on his soda. "Joey! Joey! You gotta look quick!" he whispered urgently, gasping for air.

"What?" Joey asked in annoyance.

"Mr. Wonderful is sitting right behind you."

Joey swallowed hard. "Kaiba? Behind me? Are you sure?" He slowly turned his head and was quickly yanked back by Tea.

"Idiot, you'll give yourself away! Honestly, for someone who's trying to stay in the closet, you're not doing a very good job."

Yugi sighed, "Tea, you know Joey's completely gone for Kaiba."

Tristan snorted and added, "Yeah totally. I still don't understand how he hasn't figured it out yet. I mean there was the time in science class where bright eyes here nearly spilled acid on his lab partner just because Kaiba walked by

"Or the time in Gym class where Joey got smacked in the face with the basketball because Kaiba was doing a slam dunk," Tea added.

"Or how about the time when Joey closed his locker on his hand because Kaiba nodded at him in the hall?" Yugi suggested, getting into the spirit.

"Oh, oh! How about the time I beat the crap out of my friends in the cafeteria because they can't keep their big months shut?" Joey added with a growl. The other three looked at each other and then took off towards the exit, an enraged Joey following close behind them.

Kaiba stared at the spectacle unfolding around him. "I really don't understand why people feel the need to make complete asses of themselves."

Duke snorted in amusement at his companion's comment. "You wouldn't; however, us mere mortals find it fun."

Kaiba rolled his eyes. "Joey is a complete idiot. Did you know that he almost spilled acid on his lab partner in Chem?"

Duke snickered. "He's only that way around you, you know. Joey's actually on the honor roll."

Kaiba's eyebrows rose in disbelief. "You're kidding! That idiot? The standards in this school are even lower then I thought."

Duke shook his head with a sigh. "Poor, naive Seto. Ever think he might have a crush on you?"

Kaiba blinked, blushing slightly. "Joey? A crush? On me?"

Rich laughter followed. "Yes. Which pisses me off; he's hot. There -are- other people at this school who are into guys besides us, you know." Duke eyed his friend critically. "And truthfully, you're pretty hot too, Seto, though you're not my type. No offense."

"None taken," Kaiba answered, trying his best not to gag. 'The mutt? A crush on me?' Although he wouldn't admit to it, Duke's idea stayed with him for the rest of the day, and every time he passed Joey in the hall, he would frown in thought. Which, he realized, happened with distracting frequency. He was still frowning when he finally arrived back home, where an ecstatic Mokuba informed him that he had, indeed, found a ride.

Saturday

"Aright Sere, where's this party again?" Joey asked as the buckled up. "And how long is it? Maybe I should just leave you the cell phone."

Serenity rolled her eyes. "I'll be fine; it's at Jack Martin's house. I'll give you directions, but we have to pick someone up first."

"What! Mom didn't say anything about that."

"Yeah, well, I didn't ask her, but Mokuba needs a ride. Don't worry, it's on the way."

Joey rolled his eyes. "You're lucky I like you, kid," he said mock-threateningly. Failing to get a reaction from his sister, he sighed, "Okay, lead the way."

They drove mostly in silence, Serenity giving him directions now and then. "There! Turn left into the next driveway."

"You sure? With a place like this, why does this kid need a ride?" Serenity glared at him.

"His brother has a meeting and can't take him. And before you ask, his parents died two years ago. He and his brother live there alone."

Joey winced. "Sorry Sere, I didn't mean to..." Serenity sighed.

"It's okay, how were you supposed to know? Mokuba's really smart though; he skipped a grade so he's actually a year younger then me."

Joey snuck a glance at his sister, then broke into a wide grin. "You -like- him, don't you? My baby sister's got herself a crush!"

"JOEY!" Serenity cried, mortified beyond belief. "If you say anything, I'll tell mom about the magazines under your bed!"

"Alright, alright, chill. I wouldn't do that to you. Now when we get home, that's another story."

Serenity pouted for a moment then asked, "Hey, why are you parking the car?"

"Because it's rude to honk; I mean if I was his brother I'd at least like to see who's driving my little sibling around." Joey opened the door. "You coming?" Serenity clambered out of the car and caught up with him at the door. When the door opened, Joey smiled and began to speak, but his voice ended up coming out as a squeak. "Kaiba?" Swiftly, he turned to his sister. "You didn't say Kaiba was his brother!"

Seto stared at the two of them, baffled for a moment. "I assume that you're Serenity, and this is your brother?" he finally asked.

Serenity looked back and forth between them, obviously confused. "Um, yeah. Is Mokuba ready?"

"MOKUBA! The deal's off! You aren't going anywhere in a car with this idiot!" Seto called back into the house, horrified.

Mokuba came running to the door, dragging his bag behind him. "What? But Seto, you said I could go as long as I found a ride!"

Serenity turned to Joey. "Joey, he just insulted you! Don't just stand there and take it!"

Seto glared down at his brother. "This is not a ride! This is a disaster waiting to happen!"

During all the exchanges, Joey just stood there, his mouth open and blushing. Finally, Serenity elbowed him hard in the stomach. "JOEY!"

"Huh? Oh right! I'm, I'm a really good driver, Kaiba. Seriously, I've had my license for almost two years and no accidents." Seto gave him a disbelieving look.

"Seto! You promised!" Mokuba whined.

"Look, you could come along; you'll see I'm a safe driver," Joey offered, his heart hammering in his chest.

Seto frowned. "I can't; I have an appointment out of town. Otherwise, I would have driven Mokuba myself."

"Oh, well. Um, how about I have Mokuba call you when he reaches the party to let you know he arrived safe and sound?"

Seto sighed as he looked down at his pouting brother. "I guess that will have to do. Mokuba will never let me hear the end of it if I refuse to allow him to go."

"Damn right,"

"Mokuba! Language!" Seto snapped, rubbing his head in frustration. 'This is going to be a very long day.'

Ten minutes later, Joey and the kids were on their way as Seto watched warily from the driveway. Joey glanced back several times before turning his full attention to the road. "Sere, how could you not mention we were going to Kaiba's!"

Serenity stared, baffled, at her brother from the backseat where she sat with Mokuba. "I didn't know it would matter. What's with you, anyway? Do you know him or something?"

Joey flushed. "He goes to my school."

Mokuba brightened. "Really? That's cool; what's he like there? Big brother refuses to talk about school."

Joey's blush deepened. "He's cool, gets good grades and is decent at sports. He refuses to join any of the teams, though."

That's because he has to take care of me," Mokuba sighed.

Serenity frowned as she looked strangely at her brother, before her face cleared and her eyes went wide. "You like him!"

Joey yelped as he swerved suddenly. "Louder Sere, I don't think they heard you in Connecticut."

Mokuba frowned. "You LIKE Seto? But, you're a guy."

Serenity hit him lightly on the side of the head. "So? I think it's cute. Joey and Seto, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G."

Joey groaned and laid his head down on the steering wheel at the stoplight. "Sis, you're killing me here." Far from being repentant, Serenity kept singing, finally roping Mokuba into it so there was a chorus all the way to the party.

Fresh from his meeting with the lawyers, Seto was frustrated and tired. He growled irritably and kicked his tire. 'Stupid car! You choose NOW to break down?' Lifting his cell phone, he prepared to call for a tow truck when it rang with an incoming call. "Hello?" He frowned when no one answered. "Hello?"

"...hey Kaiba."

He rolled his eyes. 'Unbelievable!' he thought. "Wheeler? What are you doing calling my phone?"

"Um, ya, um, I just wanted to let you know that Mokuba's at my house," Joey muttered. "The party ended up being a bust and the kids decided they'd rather hang out together and play video games. Um, I hope that was ok. Mokuba said it would be and I stayed with them so they weren't alone or anything!"

Seto sighed. "Wheeler, you're babbling. It's fine, and thank you for informing me of the change. Please tell Mokuba that I'll be a little late getting home."

"Sure!" Joey said, relieved. "Why?"

Seto rolled his eyes at the inane question. "Not that it's any of your business, but my car decided to die and I need to call for a tow and a taxi." He frowned at the thought. "Damn thing's gonna cost a fortune. I still don't understand why I can't even -touch- my inheritance until I graduate."

"I could come get you!" Joey blurted out.

Seto stared incredulously at the phone in his hand. "You?"

Joey nodded furiously, before realizing that Seto couldn't see him. "Yeah! It'll be fine, Mom'll back from her class soon; just tell me where you are." Weighing the pros of not having to wait around in a deserted parking lot against the cons of a possible death sentence, Seto reluctantly accepted and quickly told Joey where he was before he could change his mind. Joey hung up the phone, a slightly goofy grin on his face. Then he giggled. 'I'm gonna pick up Kaiba!'

Serenity came around the corner, paused and then backed away at seeing the fiendish look on her brother's face. Once back in the living room, she turned to Mokuba and whispered, "I think it'd be a good idea to leave Joey alone for awhile."

Mokuba nodded. "I know; I heard the giggling from here." They both shuddered.

When Joey came in to tell them he was picking up Seto, the two sat as far away from him as they could and stayed huddled close together. After he left, Mokuba turned to Serenity and said, "If I EVER get like that about anyone, please smack me."

Serenity nodded. "Me too; teenagers are just weird."

'Forty-five, forty-six...There! Forty-seven!' Joey turned carefully into the parking lot and looked around for Kaiba. Spotting him, he sighed with relief; he'd half expected the other man to take off with the tow truck driver. Getting out of the car he waved, "Hey Kaiba! Over here!"

Seto stared warily at the happily waving blonde. "Yes, I'm not blind," he said. 'Dumb mutt, Duke's got to be kidding about him being on the honor roll.'

They drove in silence for a while until Joey nervously spoke. "So, how's that English project going? I hear it's a killer."

Seto frowned. "How do you know about that?"

"Oh, well, Tris has that class too, and well, he's been bitchin' about it for weeks," Joey mumbled as he blushed.

"Right, I'd forgotten Taylor was in there. It's fine," Seto answered, closing his eyes. "Wheeler, I would suggest keeping your attention focused solely on the road," the brunette added as he caught Joey sneaking quick glances over at him while he was monitoring the road.

Joey jumped. "Yeah, sorry. I guess you're tired, right? I'll shut up. I can turn the radio off if you want, it's probably bothering you, right?"

"Wheeler, you're babbling again," Seto said calmly, his eyes still closed. "Are you really on the honor roll?"

Joey frowned. "Yeah, how'd you hear about that?"

"Duke mentioned it."

"Oh. Really? That's weird; how'd he know?"

"Duke makes it his business to know these things. He thinks you're 'hot'."

Joey sputtered, "Duke? Duke thinks I'm hot? Tris is going kill me!"

Seto opened his eyes at that revelation. "Taylor likes Duke? Really? That's interesting."
Joey groaned. "I shouldn't have said that! I was just surprised. You're not gonna mention it, are you?"

"Yes Wheeler, I plan on shouting it from the rooftops. I couldn't care less who your friend likes," Seto muttered.

"Oh, okay, but Duke's your friend, right?"

"I suppose you could call him that. I wouldn't, but I suppose you could," Seto answered before closing his eyes again, signaling an end to their conversation.

Joey snuck another look over at him and sighed. 'Damn he's cute when he sleeps. And when he's awake, when he walks, when he glares...when he just breathes. I've got it soo bad!'

When the engine cut off, Seto snapped himself awake; not that he had been sleeping...he was just resting his eyes. He looked around in confusion.

"Um, yeah, this is, uh, my house. Thought maybe you'd wanna pick up Mokuba and all," Joey mumbled, his face once again slightly red. He scrambled out of the car waited for Seto to follow, which he did with a sigh.

Seto frowned. "Yes, I do. I suppose you can drive us back to the mansion?"

Joey brightened. "Sure!" he answered as he opened the door for Seto.

"JOSEPH TOBIAS WHEELER!"

Joey flinched at the tone with which his mother screamed at him in. "Um, yeah?" he muttered while Seto just blinked at the cringing blonde. 'Tobias?' he thought.

The raging red-head glared up at her first born. "WHERE have you been? I come back from class to find Serenity -alone-, save for some boy I've never met! Car gone! I called Yugi, I called Tristan, I even called Tea! Did it ever occur to you to leave me a note?"

"But Mom..."

"Don't you dare 'but Mom' me! I leave you in charge for -one- afternoon and this is the result!"

"Excuse me ma'am, but it would be my fault that your son was out," Seto intervened while Joey gave him a look of utter adoration. "He was kind enough to give my brother a ride to the party, and then to pick me up when my car died."

"That may be, but he still should have left a note," she said, now much calmer after venting.

Seeing the wrath abating, Joey cautiously answered, "But I told Sere where I was going; didn't she tell you?"

His mother's brown eyes narrowed. "No, she didn't. SERENITY ROSE WHEELER!" she shouted, turning to storm back into the house. Joey giggled while mentally chanting, 'Sere's in trouble!'

Seto blinked again. "You have an interesting mother, Wheeler."

Joey blushed. "Uh, thanks. I'd better go get Mokuba before she totally freaks him out."

As he made to move, Seto's hand stopped him and Joey looked at him in confusion. "Tobias?" Seto asked, one eyebrow raised.

Joey flushed some more and rubbed the back of his head. "Uh, yeah...Mom liked it. I'd appreciate it if ya didn't mention it."

A black blur headed toward them, cutting off his answer as Mokuba latched onto Seto's waist. "Seto, she's SCARY!"

Seto smirked down at his brother. "Yes; shall we head home?" He felt Mokuba nod frantically against him.

Joey gave the door a wistful look before he sighed, "I'd better go tell Ma that I'm leaving; she'll flip again if I don't." He entered the house and walked down the hall with all the enthusiasm of a convicted man. Seto watched him go, somewhat amused.

Mokuba frowned and tugged at Seto's jacket. "What's that look for?"

Seto looked down at his brother, confused. "What look?"

Mokuba rolled his eyes. "You know the -look-. I don't like it. It's...icky."

Seto snickered. "'Icky?' This from the boy who insisted on attending a party because of a girl?"

Mokuba made a face. "Yeah...a girl! But Joey? That's just..."

It was Seto's turn to roll his eyes. "'Icky,' I get it. Deal with it kiddo, you'll encounter it more then you'll like. And weren't you the one just two days ago telling me I should get out more?" Mokuba mumbled an answer under his breath as Joey walked back over to them rubbing his ear and a sheepish look on his face.

"Ah, Mom would like it if you two stayed for dinner; she was kind of insistent on it. I think she feels bad about scaring the kid," Joey said looking down. "So would ya? Mom's a really good cook, actually."

"I'm not a kid," Mokuba said petulantly.

"Yes you are," Seto retorted. "Since you're our ride, I guess we have very little choice in the matter, don't we?"

Joey shrugged. "I could always drive you home. Mom would have my ass, but I'd hate to keep you here against your will."

"It's fine; Mokuba and I should eat soon any way."

Joey sagged with relief. "Cool! Uh, I'll take your jacket, and Mokuba should remember where the living room is. Uh, just ignore Mom; I think she's still yelling at Serenity."

After it was over and Ms Miller 'Call me Hannah' had driven them both home, Seto continued to dwell on the glimpse he'd gotten of Joey -Tobias- Wheeler sans idiocy. 'He's actually kind of cute when he's not tripping over his own feet.'

Sunday

As soon as he could escape from the house, Joey had fled to Yugi's to throw himself on the mercy of his friends. "God Yug, it was so weird! Kaiba, -Kaiba- was in -my- car!"

"I wish I could have seen your face when Kaiba opened that door," Yugi giggled.

Joey scowled. "Yeah, well ask Sere;" I'm sure she'll tell you all about it in excruciating detail. She's still teasing me about it!"

Tea snorted. "Yeah like you're not going to throw her crushes back in her face. I told you, you're too obvious about it; I'm sure the whole school knows."

Joey winced and begged, "Please, a little sympathy here? He's already met my Mom."

Tristan flinched. "And he lives? I'm pretty sure she's the reason I need therapy."

"Tristan, there are a lot of reasons you need therapy. Joey's mom is not one of them," Tea laughed then she sighed and sympathetically rubbed Joey's back. "I wouldn't worry about it; if he hasn't figured out you like him by now, then anything you did yesterday is not going to clue him in."

Joey relaxed a little. "Thanks, I think." Then he tensed a bit. "Um, Tris? Don't kill me, okay?"

Tristan sighed, "What did you do this time?"

"Well I might have-accidentally mind you-sort of implied to Kaiba that you liked Duke."

Tristan blinked, and then tackled Joey with a roar of "YOU DID WHAT?"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I was just trying to make conversation, you know?"

"Telling him I like Duke is a conversation opener?"

Insulted, Joey pushed Tristan off of him while Tea and Yugi scooted out of the line of fire, well used to their battles by now. "NO! Of course not! He mentioned Duke, said Duke thought I was hot! Damn," Joey cursed as he realized what he had let slip.

Tristan sat down. "Oh. Well, you are."

Joey blinked. "Huh?"

Tristan snickered at the perplexed look on his friend's face. "You are hot. Duke would be an idiot not to appreciate it."

"You're not mad?" Yugi asked, rejoining the conversation now that the fighting was over.

Tristan shrugged. "Why would I be mad? It's not like Joey's trying for Duke, or that Duke's tried for him. For that matter, Kaiba's hot. I wouldn't want to date him, but that doesn't change his hotness."

Joey gave Tristan a look. "So we're cool?" Joey asked, raising his hand.

Tristan grinned as he yanked Joey down and proceeded to give him a noogie. "Not on your life!"

"Ow, ow ow! Guys? A little help?"

Seto frowned at Duke. "Why are you here again?"

Duke laughed. "I'm your friend. And as your friend, you called me so that I could drive you to see about your car."

"That doesn't explain what you're doing here now. My appointment's not until Thursday."

Duke rolled his eyes. "It's called hanging out. It's what normal teenagers do. Come on Seto, there's a big party tonight for the seniors. Why don't you come?"

"I have to watch Mokuba."

"Seto, he's eleven, not five. I'm sure he can handle one night where he warms up his own dinner and tucks himself into bed."

Seto scowled at him. "You obviously don't have siblings."

"Argh! Fine, then get him a babysitter. Or, send him to a friend's house. Just get out and have fun for once!" Duke growled at him. "Stupid ass-don't know WHY I'm still friends with you."

"I don't know either," Seto snapped. "And I'm still not going!"

Duke sighed and collapsed into a chair. "Crap."

Seto gave him a suspicious glance. "What now?"

"Now Tristan won't dance with me," Duke whined, glaring daggers at him. "He promised I could dance with him if I got your ass there for Joey. Don't know why a hot thing like that is all hung up on you anyway."

Seto smirked. "So you're after Taylor's ass as well? I thought you wanted the blonde?"

"Well I do. But, he wants nothing to do with anyone who isn't -you-. We've all learned that by now. He's fairly vocal about it." Duke rubbed a hand across his jaw. "Physical, too. Tristan, on the other hand, is quite willing to join me for a good time."

"Oh God, not you too!"

Duke swivelled around to face Mokuba, who was standing in the doorway looking vaguely disgusted. "Ah...to be young and idiotic again."

"I'm not an idiot!"

Seto snickered at the disgruntled tone in Mokuba's voice. "I did warn you, Mokuba. That's what you get for eavesdropping."

Mokuba made a face. "Fine, but it's still gross."

Duke gave him a mischievous look. "Well, I personally think fucking girls is gross… OW!"

Seto yanked Duke's arm higher. "I don't allow that kind of language in front of Mokuba. I think it's best if you leave now." With that, he released Duke's arm.

Duke pouted as he rubbed his arm. "Bastard. You're no fun. If you change your mind, I'm just a phone call away. See ya, kid."

As Mokuba stuck his tongue out at Duke's retreating back, Seto sighed, "Oh very mature Mokuba. Now try to forget about that last conversation."

Mokuba made another face. "Gladly. Though...maybe you should go to the party, Seto. I can stay home for a few hours by myself. Go, have fun..." Mokuba paused then forced out the rest. "See Joey."

Seto raised his eyebrow. "Really? I thought it was 'icky'?"

"It is. But you're my brother, and I owe you a lot. So, it makes you happy, go for it...just not around me, ok? It's still gross no matter what you say."

"I'll think about it."

Joey sat in the corner trying to give off a 'go away' vibe. Yugi sighed as he saw him and made his way over. "Why aren't you at least attempting to have fun?"

Joey turned to his friend. "DO you realize I have been here for not even a half an hour yet, and five people have tried to grope my ass? I punched three of them. The other two were girls. And drunk!"

"And this is a bad thing because...?" Yugi asked with a smile, knowing what was coming.

"Because all I want is that damn KAIBA!" Joey shouted. "God knows I'd -love- to be able to just have fun and say yes to these people, but none of them do a thing for me. Every single party, it's the same thing! It's depressing, Yug."

"Joey..." Yugi began, his lips twitching slightly.

"Look, even Tris is having fun this time! He's got Duke plastered all over him!" Joey frowned. "Yug, when'd Tris get Duke plastered all over him?"
"Since Duke walked in the door," Tea answered, coming up behind them with drinks. "Here Yugi." She placed the other on the table and stared down at Joey with her hands on her hips. "Now Joey, this is one of the last parties we'll have as seniors and I'm sick of your 'woe is me' routine. We're going to dance, and your -going- to have fun. Watch our drinks?" Yugi nodded, trying not to smile as Tea dragged a protesting Joey out onto the dance floor.

Tristan pulled away from Duke, leaving him pouting to join Yugi for a minute. "Think this'll work?"

Yugi sighed. "I don't know. It helps that they met yesterday."

Tristan grinned. "Yeah that was a lucky break; wish I'd known Sere knew his brother, we could've used that."

"So, is he coming?"

"Duke did his best, so I think he might. Duke can be -very- persuasive when he wants to be," Tristan added with a wink.

Yugi laughed. "I think I'll trust you on that one. Having fun?"

"Oh yeah. Took a couple of months, but he now thinks he's chasing me."

"You're so bad, Tristan."

"I know my target. Which reminds me, I should get back and let him continue to 'make up' for his failure." Yugi snickered as Tristan swaggered back to Duke. Suddenly, there was a pause in the action, and Yugi looked up to see most of the student body staring at the figure in the doorway. Yugi grinned. 'He came.'

Seto glared at everyone. "WHAT?" Just as quickly as they had stopped, everyone went back to partying. 'What the hell am I doing here?' he thought to himself.

Well, almost everyone. Tea rolled her eyes and sighed. "Joey. JOEY!"

Joey snapped his attention back to her. "Huh?"

"Why don't you ask him to dance, hotshot?"

Joey gaped at her. "What?"

"Look, time isn't going to stand still. How many more chances to confess are you going to pass up?" Tea snapped, obviously frustrated. She shoved him in Seto's direction. "Just go do something, idiot!" Then she stomped back to Yugi.

Joey stared after her, a bewildered expression on his face. From the couch, Yugi and Tea waved at him to go on. With a shaky smile, Joey turned toward his target. 'I can do this. I CAN do this...I can't do this!' Joey veered left and opened the door that was in front of him.

"Wheeler?" Seto asked, an amused smirk on his face. "Why are you looking in a closet?" Joey spun around with a yelp and fell through the open door to land on his behind. "I think you should come out of the closet now," Seto snickered, holding out a hand.

"Shows what you know; I came out two years ago," Joey muttered as he let Seto haul him up.

"What was that?"

"Nothing!" Joey replied in a panic. "I was just...looking for my jacket! Yeah...'cause I was gonna leave."

Seto glanced around. "Any particular reason? The party seems to be in full swing. Your mother give you an early curfew?" he asked with a smirk.

Joey scowled. "NO. I just wasn't having fun."

Seto settled against the wall. "Why not? I'm sure a 'hot' guy like you can have lots of fun."

"You're laughing at me, aren't you?" Joey asked with a sigh. "Figures. Might as well. Apparently, everyone knows about me anyway. Not like they're gonna laugh at me any more than they already are." Joey turned to face Seto. "I like you, as in -really- like you. As in I think you're hot and want to shag you rotten." Seto blinked and Joey growled out, "Well?"

"Shag?"

"I like 'Austin Powers' movies, okay? Is that all you got to say?" Joey asked heatedly. Seto just blinked again. "Fuck it." Joey leaned over and kissed him. Startled Seto opened his mouth and Joey expertly slipped in his tongue. When Seto moaned, it was Joey's turn to blink. 'Oh shit,' Joey thought as he yanked back, staring wide-eyed at the blank look in those blue eyes before he beat a hasty retreat.

Seto blinked a third time as he watched the blonde flee. A smile started to curve across his lips. 'That was...unexpected.'

Monday

Joey whined again and pulled the covers back over his head. "Please mom? It's just one little day?"

"NO! You're not sick, not hung over, so you're going to school." With that, she grabbed the covers and took them with her out of the room.

Joey glared at the door. "You're so mean! I can't believe you'd rather see your only son be humiliated then let him skip just -one- day."

"JOSEPH," came the warning growl.

"Fine. But I'm remembering this when I'm in therapy!"

"Just remember, I won't be paying for it." Joey grumbled and threw his pillow out the door.

"OW! Joey!"

"Sorry Sere, I was aiming for Mom."

"I heard that!"

Joey pouted all through his first and second period. Tristan had just grinned at him when he had barely made it to home room on time. By third period, he was feeling a little better. No one seemed to know about his aborted attempt on his crush; at least no one had commented on it. So by the time lunch came around, Joey was in a somewhat more cheerful mood. His friends, however, were just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Hey guys, did I miss anything interesting at the party?"

Yugi shrugged. "Not much. Shelly Jenkins broke up with her boyfriend and Duke dragged Tristan into the bathroom for an hour."

Tristan blushed. "Ah. You noticed?"

Tea rolled her eyes. "Of course we did. You came back with that stupid look on your face. What -exactly- did you two do in there, or do I not want to know?"

"I just wanna know if you now have a date for the prom," Yugi asked biting into his sandwich. "I need to know how much space the limo needs."

"Limo? Yugi that's so sweet!" Tea said, grinning as she hugged him.

Joey grinned. "Dude, don't tell me you made out in someone's bathroom?"

"Not exactly...does getting a blow job count as making out?" Yugi choked on his sandwich while Tea groaned.

"I was right. I didn't want to know."

Joey was doubled over laughing, and didn't notice the shadow looming over him. "So that's why Duke's been whistling all day."

This time it was Joey's turn to choke. "Kaiba? Wha..What are you doing here?"

"I believe it's called school. Mind if I join you?" Seto asked as Yugi moved over so Seto could sit down. "Oh and Taylor, Duke told me to tell you that he'll meet you in the back hallway in five minutes."

Tristan spit out his soda. "Uh, thanks. I'll see you guys later," he called over his shoulder as he dashed out of the lunchroom.

Joey snickered helplessly. "Bye Tris! Remember, you're still on school grounds."

"Excellent advice," Seto whispered to Joey.

Tea giggled at the blush on Joey's face. "Come on Yugi, let's leave them alone. I need to do some research in the library anyway." Yugi nodded, grinning as he grabbed his food.

"Do you always kiss and run?" Seto asked softly, once the other two had left. Joey stared blankly at him. "You could have at least waited for a response."

Joey looked down, somewhat embarrassed. "Yeah, sorry about that. So um, what is your response?"

Seto pondered for a minute. "Well, if you really want to know..."

Joey flinched, then sighed. "Yeah, I guess I do."

"Well you'll have to wait until the third date. I'm not that kind of boy," Seto answered calmly as he ate his salad. "Does seven this Friday work for you?"

"Are you asking me out?" Joey asked, staring at him wide-eyed.

"Yes."

"Seven's fine!" Joey nearly squealed out.

Seto grinned at the outright glee on Joey's face. "Good."