Revelations at 7 AM

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Warnings/notes: Seto/Joey, major silliness, snippet, halfway to ooc.

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

written at 7th january 2005, by Misura. Loosely based on something I wrote in Magicfaye's livejournal.

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At some points in our hurried lives, we may receive a moment of clarity, a few seconds in which all of a sudden, we -understand-. We -see-. For Joey Wheeler, one such revelation hit him at seven am in the morning, as he was attempting to prepare breakfast in the kitchen of the Kaiba-mansion.

(In case you were wondering: yes, the emphasis was on 'attempting' in the above sentence. As Kaiba once phrased it: dogs and advanced technology don't mix very well. Or, to be fair, as Joey exclaimed in an outburst of frustration: a (censored) kitchen shouldn't have so (censored) many buttons.)

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Normally, Joey would rarely be found out of bed before oh say fifteen minutes before school started, leaving him barely enough time to prepare his lunch and grab some food to last till then. Partially to blame for this was the fact that Joey's alarm-clock had met with an 'unfortunate accident' half a year ago, and that he'd never gotten around to saving up enough money to replace it. (That is to say: he -did-, from time to time, possess sufficient funds to -theoretically- buy a new one, but there were always things that seemed much more important to have, like a booster-pack from the new Duel Monsters-set.)

Things had changed since he'd come to live with Kaiba though -because Joey was ultimately incapable of taking proper care of himself, Kaiba claimed, to which Joey usually replied that if anyone needed someone to make sure he didn't forget to do such unimportant things like eating and sleeping, it was Kaiba, and on top of that, Kaiba was in 'luuuuv' with him, so he'd -begged- Joey to brighten his life by sharing his home, and Joey'd agreed only out of pity.

For starters, Joey's marks had begun to rise dramatically. The precise reason for this was cause for much speculation -since, really, Otogi had remarked, could anyone imagine Kaiba as a patient teacher?- but Joey nor Kaiba was prepared to comment on it, so the mystery remained what it was.

Secondly, the day after Joey had moved out, a marriage-counselor and several social workers had dropped by at his father's house to have a little chat with Wheeler Senior. Currently, there was talk of -maybe- granting him visiting rights to his daughter and ex-wife, even if there seemed to be no hope for a new wedding between Joey's parents. Still, it was more than Joey'd ever thought possible, and at least his old man had gotten over his alcoholism. (Kaiba was still a bastard for not consulting with Joey first, before doing anything about his father, in Joey's opinion.)

Lastly, Joey now rose at an indecently early hour, thanks to Kaiba threatening to molest him if he didn't come out of bed 'this very moment'. (On some days, Joey dared Kaiba to make good on his threat, and on such occasions, they were both late for school. Nobody dared to give Kaiba a detention though, so days like that mostly ended with -Joey- spending an afternoon in detention, by his lonesome self, while he could have been keeping Kaiba from work. Thus, Kaiba's method actually -worked-.)

One of the first things Joey had discovered upon his moving into his new home was that both Kaiba and Mokuba were excellent cooks. Their fields of expertise varied greatly, of course. Kaiba was best at producing healthy, wholesome meals, that didn't taste -bad-, exactly, but weren't delicacies either. Mokuba, on the other hand, had specialized in what Kaiba called 'junk food'; cookies, sushi, pizzas, elaborate cakes and pastries, and everything in between.

Most of the machinery in the kitchen had been purchased for Mokuba, and was solely used by Mokuba as well. (He allowed both his big brother and Joey the use of 'his' things on a 'you break it, you go find and buy a new one'-principle. Thus, all things considered, Joey satisfied himself with simple fare.)

Dinner was the only time when Joey really had an opportunity to profit from his new house-mates' talents, sadly, since lunch-time was spent at school, and communal breakfast was not something Mokuba supported. (And Mokuba, Joey had found out soon enough, had the power to veto -anything- that didn't relate to his big brother's working hours.)

Kaiba got out of bed at some ungodly time, and it still irked Joey that he always slept through this. He'd have loved to be able to call Kaiba a jerk for waking him up early, only because Kaiba was such a workaholic, yet thus far, Kaiba had refused to oblige him. Mokuba, on the other hand, liked to sleep in, and -he- didn't get kicked out of bed by Kaiba.

Thus, it was each on his own when it came to getting something to eat in the morning.

Breakfast consisted of cold food, in practice: cereals, since the smells of anything cooking -did- disturb Joey's sleep -even if Kaiba claimed this to be -impossible-, due to the distance between his bedroom and the kitchen, he'd had to accept the evidence of Joey stumbling in and having devoured half of Kaiba's breakfast before Kaiba could whack him with a spoon.

Naturally, since there were three people living in the house, that meant there were four kinds of cereals in store; one for Mokuba, one for Kaiba, one for Joey and one that had been on sale when Joey'd been doing the grocery-shopping, and that he -thought- would taste just like Mokuba's favorite (and super-expensive) brand, an assertion with which Mokuba vehemently disagreed. For the sake of scientific research -'what is it that cold-hearted bastards like Seto Kaiba have for breakfast?'- Joey had once tried Kaiba's type of cereals.

In his worst nightmares, he still recalled its taste.

After that, he'd never dared to go adventuring in the Kaibas' extensive stash of food ever again, and thus he'd never experienced what Mokuba -'the bratty little brother of a cold-hearted bastard'- started his usual day with.

Today, however, he'd accidentally grabbed the wrong box. Thanks to his guardian angel, he hadn't touched what Joey had dubbed 'the cereals from Hell', but rather the colorful box that contained Mokuba's cherished 'Magical Fortune Cookies (With Enchantingly Delicious Chocolate Chips!)'.

Dubiously reading the enthusiastic tag-lines ('One bowl of Magical Fortune Cookies (With Enchantingly Delicious Chocolate Chips!) contains as much sugar as one-hundred and thirty-three pixie-sticks!'), Joey picked out a single one of the 'cookies' and stuck it in his mouth.

Barely two seconds later, he found himself suddenly wanting to run upstairs and finish his homework, or run out on the streets to go and save someone, like Super Seahorse did on TV, or bounce over to Kaiba's working-room and tell him the weather was way too pretty to stay indoors, that they should skip school and go to an amusement-park, or just -do- things. Lots of things.

It took the sugar a full fifteen minutes to wear off sufficiently for Joey to be able to stand still long enough to check the small print on the back of the box and confirm that, if anything, the tag-line had been a slight understatement.

All of which certainly explained a few things about Mokuba.

Joey wondered what would happen if Mokuba were to go without his beloved cereals for a day, or, when his brains use the last bit of energy the sugar has provided them with, how -Kaiba- would react to a bowlful of them.

The results of that last, Joey thought, might be quite entertaining to see. Not to mention healthy, really, from a certain point of view, since Kaiba's eternal scowl was in some ways as unnatural as Mokuba's ever-cheerful expression, so Joey'd be -helping- him by conducting this little experiment.

And so, at sevenam on a Friday, Joey Wheeler drew the conclusion that yes, in spite of everything he'd learned at school about nature and nurture, people's personalities were only determined by a single factor, and that factor was the amount of sugar they consumed in the morning.

Now, if only he'd be able to find out how to put a couple of bowls of sugar in the teachers' coffee and tea, he might actually use his newfound knowledge to thread in the footsteps of Yugi, by making the world a better place ...

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At some points in our lives, also, we may find out that what we believed to be the truth has, in fact, been nothing more than an illusion, a pretty lie we've been clinging to because of its beauty. Joey, for example, was rudely awakened from his pleasant dreams when Kaiba spooned up an entire bowl of Mokuba's cereals -with extra sugar- without any effect other than his snapping at Joey to never, ever bring him breakfast at work ever again, because he apparently couldn't even get a dish as simple as this one right.

Joey decided there and then that Kaiba was an utter bastard, beyond any kind of help.

(But Joey loved him anyway.)

OWARI