Warnings/notes: Kaiba/Joey (established), slightly silly, drabble-ish shortie.

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

written at 5th july 2005, by Misura


Over the weeks-that-seem-like-months that Joey has spent in the Kaiba-mansion during which he rarely seems to have seen Kaiba for more than a few hours-that-seem-like-minutes in the weekend, Joey has come to the conclusion that there's a whole load of reasons for Kaiba to do things.

Mostly, they're not what Joey'd call 'normal' or 'logical' reasons. He may have witnessed things that aren't exactly 'normal' or 'logical' either, so probably he should have become a little immune to stuff like that, and no longer go 'huh?' at them, but ...

Sometimes, Joey thinks Kaiba is just a tad little bit crazy. Not crazy like 'wanting to revive his old girlfriend by stealing people's souls' -if only because, as far as Joey knows, Kaiba's never dated anyone- or like 'determined to destroy the world' yet crazy all the same.

Perhaps Joey'd be better off not asking about Kaiba's reasons for doing things, only, well, what else can he say when Kaiba was supposed to show up for dinner at six and calmly strides in around eight, smirking and looking oh-so pleased with himself?

The first time it happened he yelled. Yelling at Kaiba's something that tends to make him feel better, and the fact that they're kind of having a relationship hasn't changed that. (As a matter of fact, Kaiba seems to rather enjoy making him yell, if not for quite the same reasons that Joey used to yell at him for.) Unfortunately, Mokuba was there, too, all ready to put on his poor, deserted little brother act.

It took Joey a mere two days to discover that the only thing Mokuba liked less than someone interfering with his relationship with his big brother was to have to breakfast without his favorite cereals -which is why there's a stash of several dozens boxes' worth of the stuff hidden in the basement somewhere. Someone yelling at or pouncing on his big brother turned out to be another one of Mokuba's top-three least-favorite things though, and Mokuba's scary when he gets mad.

Part of the scariness, Joey suspects, is that Mokuba's such a nice, cute brat most of the time. Kaiba's neither nice nor cute; he's grumpy at the best of days. When Kaiba gets mad -really, red-hot mad, not cold, making-sarcastic-comments mad- it's a crack in his armor, an explosion of passion that Joey can easily manipulate into something that'll take Kaiba's mind off his corporation and Mokuba for a while. When Mokuba gets mad, Joey's afraid of having his food poisoned, his closets booby-trapped and his homework 'accidentally' ending up with the trash.

Thus, when Kaiba's late, Joey waits patiently -or, actually, impatiently- until Mokuba has sent Kaiba on a guilt-trip long enough to make him promise whatever it is Mokuba wants from him this day -which varies from a nine-foot tall Baby Dragon-plushie to a holiday in Paris. After that, he politely asks what kept Kaiba. (The look on Kaiba's face the evening he first did this was almost worth swallowing the words he actually wanted to say. Almost.)

Kaiba's yet to give him the same answer twice; Joey has to admit that at least Kaiba's original. Last time, if he recalls correctly, Kaiba told him he was tardy -he literally used that word, destroying Joey's hope of ever being able to let him pass for a normal, ordinary human on one of those parties Honda's always raving about- because of the SMXLV-1562. (As if that'd mean anything to Joey. Kaiba can be such a jerk.)

Mokuba, content and happy at having gotten his way already, piped up something along the lines of 'again? you should fire some people, big brother!'. (Actually, Mokuba can be a jerk, too. It must be a family-trait; they sure don't have much in common in the looks-department, so it figures the resemblance is all in their characters.)

It'd probably be ridiculous to accuse Kaiba of telling his little brother more than he tells Joey. Especially since there's plenty of things Joey has told Shizuka, but not Kaiba -and some of them aren't even about Kaiba. Then again, he's not living in one house with Kaiba and Shizuka.

That Kaiba's got so many excuses doesn't change anything though. That Kaiba won't let Joey order a pizza because the security-checks take too long for the pizza to be delivered at least luke-warm doesn't change the fact that Kaiba's cut Joey off from his most important food-group. That Kaiba Corp. might lose two billion yen if Kaiba doesn't spend three hours behind his computer instead of behind, in front of and beside Joey doesn't mean Joey has to like -or even accept- that.

Some buffoon from PR suggested that Kaiba'd find himself a girlfriend -for publicity's sake- last month. Mokuba hated the idea, and so the PR-guy got fired, and Kaiba informed his successor that the idea was impractical, since the media'd find out eventually that it'd all been a ruse -and then the corporation's reputation and credibility would doubtlessly suffer substantial damage so, really, better just forget about the whole thing.

Joey's not sure if he likes not having to share Kaiba with some fake girlfriend just because of Kaiba Corp.'s precious reputation. Joey's pretty sure he doesn't care one bit about Kaiba Corp.'s reputation, except for it seemingly being tied to Kaiba's happiness, but 'making Kaiba happy' isn't exactly a reason for Joey to do something.

He supposes that it should be, except that he thinks that Kaiba's happiness isn't so easily accomplished. Just look at the facts: Kaiba's got the money, the smarts, the great boyfriend ... and he still doesn't appear to be happy. Kaiba probably doesn't even know what'll make him happy himself, and while Joey's willing to guess and make some serious attempts, he refuses to accept anyone else's word for it.

Kaiba's got millions of reasons for doing things -all right, maybe not quite that many, but it still comes pretty close. Kaiba's a genius after all; his brains are a few sizes too big (just like his head is).

Joey only has one. He doesn't need any more.

It's why he keeps his grin plastered on his face as he saunters into Kaiba's posh office -posh, because Kaiba needs to inform his visitors that yes, he's richer than them and yes, he knows the meaning of the word 'posh', and no, they shouldn't try and assume he's some amateur in the business.

And when Kaiba asks him what the reason for his visit is, in a cold, cutting voice that tells Joey Kaiba's at least a little pleased to see him, Joey tells him:

"Because I want to."

(Much, much later, he wonders if Kaiba's ever done anything because he wanted to do it. Purely for that, without considering his corporation or his little brother or anything else.)

(He can think of only one instance.)


A/N: The one instance was supposed to be Kaiba's relationship with Joey. I hoped I could imply that, but I'm not entirely sure so ...