Warnings/notes: Kaiba/Joey, minor AU, snippet.
Disclaimer: I don't own YuGiOh. This ficlet was inspired by the poem 'Receiving a Guest' by Du Fu.
written at 7th June 2005, by Misura, for a request made by Momoko in the livejournal-community ficondemand (on occasion of the Junetide).
When someone knocks on the door of Joey's apartment in New York -that's new only in the sense that he has moved there recently (seven months ago) and has yet to find out where he can complain about the faulty heating system- his first thought is that someone must have been at the wrong door.
It's a logical conclusion, really; he hasn't given the address of this place to anyone, not even Yugi or Anzu. Especially not Yugi or Anzu, really, since those two actually visit the USA fairly regular, and Joey really doesn't want to have to welcome them to this dump.
And so, because he's quite comfortable where he is, on the couch that's only a little less worn-down than the rest of the furniture, because he found it, rather than bought it cheaply, Joey doesn't bother to rise and answer the door, trusting that the person who knocked will figure out by him- or herself that this isn't the right address.
Half a minute -barely- passes, before the sound of anewed knocking wakes Joey from the slight trance that people all over the world slip into when watching sports on TV. He considers going on to ignore the sound, but then, imagining what -he- would feel like, knocking on the wrong door and not having anyone inform him of the fact, he decides he might as well be helpful.
To say that the person who stared at him coldly once he's managed to unlock all the locks is the last person Joey'd have expected to see would only be incorrect in the sense that Joey would, in fact, never have come up with the name of said person as a potential visitor, however unlikely.
"My secretary botched the reservation at the hotel where I was supposed to be staying," Kaiba informs him, as if they've already been through all the motions of saying hello, good evening, long time no see, how are you these days and, naturally, because this is Kaiba and he is Joey, a nice round of insults, that will degenerate swiftly into sneers and taunts, at which point they'll both take one step back and get down to business.
Kaiba skips all that now though. He looks tired, too, not quite immaculate or untouchable.
"So? What's that to me?" Joey demands, not bothering to ask how on earth Kaiba got his address, because he just knows that'll be giving Kaiba an opportunity to go all superior and mysterious on him.
"I hoped you might offer me a place to sleep," Kaiba says. Kaiba doesn't say that he'd rather die than spend the night in a place like this, or that Joey's apartment looks like it hasn't been cleaned for ages. He doesn't offer Joey any money, or simply assumes that Joey'll let him stay, for old times' sake.
He just stands there, two suitcases by his side and a briefcase tugged under his left arm. Waiting.
Joey toys with the idea of saying 'no', of the satisfaction it might give him to slam the door in Kaiba's face, so that next time they meet, he can look at Kaiba and know that Kaiba's not such a big shot after all, that he's asked Joey for a favor and that Joey was able to refuse him.
Behind him, one of the basketball-teams scores, and the sound of distant cheering drifts from the living-room into the hall; not that great a distance for the sound to cross, actually, since the apartment's not only run-down and bloody expensive, but also quite small.
"Sure," Joey replies, stepping aside, reaching to pick up one of Kaiba's suitcases. "Come on in."
x- tbc? -x
A/N: I really want to continue this, but it may be a while. Hence the question-mark.