Out for dinner
Warnings/notes: Kaiba/Joey (established).
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.
written at 16th march 2005, by Misura, in reply to a meme-challenge made in my livejournal by My December LP which offered the pairing Kaiba/Joey and the line: "So -wait, that is a chicken?"
"If it gets too boring, just start shooting peas at someone," Mokuba had told him beforehand, in a conspirational tone that had informed Joey he'd better appreciate this nugget of wisdom. Joey, his mind too preoccupied by the need to get his tie straight enough to satisfy Kaiba's high standards, had limited his reply to a nod, forgetting all about it the moment Mokuba had bounced out of the room.
Naturally, 'too boring' was a relative term; Kaiba seemed to have as great a time as anywhere in the public eye, while their two companions seemed to have their smiles glued onto their faces. According to Joey though, this 'cozy business-dinner' had started dead-boring, and things had only gotten worse as the evening passed by.
Why he'd ever let Kaiba talk him into this ...
(earlier that day)
"It's quite simple, really," Kaiba said, in that tone of his that implied that 'simple', in this case, meant 'too complicated for someone like you to understand'. "We agreed that it would be disadvantageous to both Kaiba Corp. and our relationship to be shown to be romantically involved by the media."
Once, Joey'd have been annoyed by Kaiba using so many big words in a row, because even if Joey's hardly too stupid to follow a sentence like that, it's still a kind of dancing around the truth, even if it meant something to hear Kaiba admit to being 'romantically involved' and in a 'relationship' with him. From Kaiba, that's quite the confession.
"All right, so to prevent some journalist from spotting us holding hands, we go out for dinner in some fancy restaurant with some hot-shot CEO and his wife?" Joey demanded, for the moment ignoring the fact that he and Kaiba hadn't ever felt any need to hold hands, be it in private or in public.
"Precisely." Kaiba smirked. "It would seem the saying about teaching an old dog new tricks isn't correct after all, if you figured that out all by yourself."
"One, I'm not old. Two, I'm not a dog. Three, don't try to distract me by making dog-jokes." Joey balled his hands into fists. "You want me to dress up and play the civilized bore, fine. Just give me one great reason why I should. Or a bribe, whichever you want, I'm easy."
"As easy as calculating a gamma-pi algorhythm with only pen and paper." Kaiba shook his head and sighed. "Very well then. If we are seen together, in the company of Taichi Asato, that will send a signal to the rest of the business-world. It will let them know that Taichi Limited doesn't care if it deals with a CEO whose sexual preferences are a little unusual, and that if they want to keep their market-share, they'd better not care either. It's not the customers my PR-department's worried about; it's the competition."
"And doesn't this Taichi guy care?" Joey demanded, ignoring for the moment Kaiba's easy assumption that nobody normal would care about two men being together. None of his friends had given him too much of a hard time about it -he'd gotten the impression that they were more concerned about Kaiba being a cold-blooded bastard than about Kaiba being of the same gender- but ...
"It makes no difference." Kaiba sounded smug. "He needs this deal, far more than Kaiba Corp., so either he plays along, or he commits financial suicide."
"As a CEO, of course, he's not going to let his feelings stand in the way. If he even has any." Joey looked disgusted. "You've planned this all along, haven't you?"
Kaiba ignored the accusation. "I trust that Taichi will be prudent, yes. Like I trust you to be reasonable. This is the price of being able to go somewhere together; you can either pay it or accept that I will not have Kaiba Corp. go bankrupt for the sake of one of your whims."
"Oh?" Joey swallowed his anger -or attempted to, at any rate- trying to think like Mokuba would. Mokuba could make Kaiba do or promise nearly anything, and Joey was sure the kid wasn't that much smarter than he was. "So you'll come to an amusement-park with me and Mokuba this weekend? And no longer claim to be too busy every single time I want to do something together?"
"I ... " Kaiba frowned. Joey managed not to grin only by thinking of the horrors of needing to wear a suit and a tie to dinner. "I usually am busy. It's not a mere claim."
"Nu-uh, no buying me off with empty promises." Joey crossed his arms over his chest. "Give, or I'll tell Mokuba what we did in the living room last night until two in the morning."
(He still wouldn't answer Joey's question about how long he'd spent cooking up this scheme though.)
Joey successfully distracted himself from the conversation that was going on - "Why, Kaiba-san, I mostly used the CPX-627-A type of chip to generate background-sounds, rather than the CPX-627-AB, because of that slight difference in the colportated GLOM-capability, although the AB-types all have that added intuiteral AMN-compatibility," - by pondering which vegetable on his plate would be most useful in a food-fight.
After ten seconds, he was forced to admit to himself that he didn't even recognize most of what was supposed to be his food. Granted, he also didn't have the slightest idea what Burger Queen put in their Supersize Burgers -Anzu had shown him a folder once, with pictures, to convince him to give up on junk-food and live more healthy, but he'd erased everything in it from his memory.
Supersize Burgers, however, rarely stayed on his plate long enough to get analytical. You just ate them, decided that they still tasted great, and went to the counter to get another one.
Joey sighed, wondering how long he'd be forced to sit here before Kaiba took mercy on him and ordered the next course to be brought to their table.
"Don't you like your chicken, dear?"
On second thought, maybe it was a good thing he hadn't been eating as normal people (who weren't girls) did. He'd probably have choked to death at hearing Kaiba use a term of endearment.
"Sorry, snookums, I'm just a bit ... unwell."
Talking like girls did in those silly romance-movies Anzu and Shizuka had forced him to watch with them was definitely worth it. Kaiba actually twitched -though, naturally, he'd later claim he'd only called Joey 'dear' to make sure the Taichis couldn't claim later that they hadn't known he and Joey had been 'more than friends', and that Joey hadn't needed to 'help' him.
"Don't fret; we're almost done."
Well, that was good news, at least. Maybe Kaiba wasn't as much of a sadist as Joey'd thought him to be. Or maybe Taichi'd decided that the sooner he got away from here, the better.
"Just another hour or so," Kaiba added with a smile that was blatantly fake.
Joey considered murder-with-a-fork, but settled for a glare instead, which Kaiba chose not to acknowledge, though he did refill Joey's wine-glass.
"So," Taichi continued, before staring at his plate a bit dubiously, "wait, this is a chicken? I could have sworn I'd informed your secretary both me and my wife were vegetarians, Kaiba-san."
Kaiba twitched again. Joey'd almost begin to get worried, but luckily, Taichi's wife spoke up for what had to be the first time that evening, assuring her husband that their plates only had good, vegetarian food on them.
Taichi beamed at her, before he apologized to Kaiba for doubting his secretary's memory.
Joey amused himself by thinking up other 'cute' petnames to call Kaiba with, while Taichi and his wife chattered about their food -since, apparently, the business-part of the dinner had been taken care of- and Kaiba appeared to be in somewhat of a hurry to get ready to part company.
All in all, Joey was almost beginning to have a good time when dessert was being served.
In the end, Mokuba and Joey decided to spend the weekend at home, playing computer-games and taking turns at beating Kaiba, who didn't yet know all the cheat-codes and was out-of-practice on top of that. Which, of course, resulted in Kaiba taking time off more often, simply because he couldn't stand Joey being better at something and needed to get back in shape.
(They never did go to an amusement-park, but Kaiba never took Joey to another business-dinner either, so Joey considered it a fair trade and challenged Kaiba to play the 'card-game for couples' with him that had arrived three days after their dinner with the Taichis, complete with a cute card signed by Taichi Junigatsu.)
(Kaiba agreed, with a sour expression that made Joey feel all warm and fuzzy inside.)
A/N: In case you were curious: Kaiba and Joey stayed up in the living room one night until two playing Final Fantasy LVII, after lying to Mokuba about it only becoming available the next day. (Can you blame them?)