Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!

Warnings: Shounen-ai; BL; slash; boy x boy; homosexual relationships; yaoi, SetoJou; Kaiba Seto x Jounouchi Katsuya, a shitty artist attempting to write, may be OOC, and spoilers up to the end of the series.

Notes: In this fan fiction, it is assumed that honourifics are used where appropriate. Jounouchi does not normally refer to anyone with them but he will in this fic during the time he is working (towards customers). (Haha, the closest thing I can think of is when Jounouchi calls Yugi's grandpa "Jiisan".) Nobody really refers to Jounouchi with honourifics except Yugi and Yami. Yugi is basically polite to everyone and Yami is only to the ones he's not currently pissed at. Others are kind of on and off with them. Yu-Gi-Oh! characters tend to get comfortable with each other pretty fast. I mean, Seto refers to Yugi as "Yugi-Kun" right in the beginning of the series. I don't think anyone calls Yugi "Mutou-Kun". Anyways, I will not add "-san" or "-chan" etc. at the end of everyone's names when they use it since I think it's weird in a fic. However, if you like them there, just pretend they are. It is assumed.

I will be using everyone's first names (not in the notes section but in the actual story) but characters in the story may refer to everyone by their last names. For example, I would call Jounouchi "Katsuya" but Mai would call him "Jounouchi". There is an exception in this chapter with one character, Matsuo. Jounouchi never learns Matsuo's first name so we don't get to know it yet.

I apologize for the amount of original characters in this chapter. I don't like original characters that much either but I need them in this fic.

A "Host Club" is a place where women can go to be served by good-looking gigolos/escorts/"hosts" (whatever you want to call them). Women pay by the hour to be flattered and flirted with and big profit comes from the alcohol that they buy during the visit. (Hot guys are nice persuasions for the finest wines.) In this fic, the "Host Club" will be a little different. It is not meant to drain women of their wealth and it is definitely not related to prostitution. It will be further explained in the fic.

Lastly (for now), please bear with this chapter since there's a lot of explaining needed before I can get into the real story. It does get to it, but you have to read through the whole "current situation" things that explain things first.


The One Who Makes Me Reminisce

Soft footsteps could be heard as Katsuya descended the stairs from the break room. He pushed opened the door and entered the resplendent room. The place was perfect as always—fancy red leather seats were rimmed with the colour gold and walls were artistically decorated with paintings, small fancy displays and lights, all matching the theme of beauty. There was a brilliant chandelier that hung in the center of the room above an exquisite black piano. Smooth soft music played as people chatted and giggled shyly as they dined. Everything felt luxurious. It was like another world from the outside; a fantasy people can indulge in, forget about their troubles for the day and feel important. Katsuya stared into the mirrored walls by the entrance of the overly glamorous café and straightened his bow. He then started to comb his hair and tug at his uniform, making sure everything was neat and tidy like the place he currently worked in. Katsuya was wearing a black and grey vest with three grey buttons over a white dress shirt without the cuffs folded back on the sleeves. His bow was made with a black ribbon and he wore a white apron around his waist that covered his black dress pants down to the knees. The left-side of his vest had a golden rectangular tag pinned to it with the name 'Jounouchi Katsuya' elegantly engraved in black and perfectly centered. Katsuya placed his comb back in one of his apron pockets and tilted his feet one at a time at different angles to check if his shoes looked finely polished. He was satisfied with what he saw in the mirror and was now ready to start his shift.

"Hi! Welcome to Amaranthine!" (1)

"We have a reservation under 'Mika'."

"All right. Please come this way." Katsuya smiled politely at the group of women who just walked into the café and guided them with an upright professional posture towards their reserved table. "Please take some time to read over the pamphlet with our rules." He then removed the 'Reserved' sign on the table, replaced it with a 'Hi, my name is Jounouchi Katsuya. I will be your waiter.' and handed each of them a menu before leaving to retrieve a jug of water to pour into their glasses.

"Wow, I get to spend the first two hours of my shift with three princesses."

The girls giggled in their seats as they stared up at the handsome man who just spoke, Sato Jin, one of the five hosts of Amaranthine. Jin was slightly taller than Katsuya. He had fair skin, short black hair and green-blue eyes. He was the host whom Katsuya was closest with and was proclaimed the sexiest host of the five.

Katsuya returned to the table and poured water into their glasses. "Are there anything I can get you ladies for now?" he asked as he gave them his best smile.

"A caffe latte, a caramel macchiato and a hot chocolate with extra chocolate and chocolate sprinkles on the whipped cream for now please. We still need to think about what we want to eat," one of the three girls responded shyly to Katsuya who was busy scribbling down notes.

"White chocolate, dark chocolate or regular?"

"Dark chocolate please."

Katsuya smiled again before nodding his head and leaving the three girls alone with Jin again.

It has been a year since Katsuya graduated from high school. He had been pretty much only keeping in touch with Yugi, Hiroto and Anzu. He had not seen Ryou, Seto or Ryuuji in a whole year. He knew Yugi probably still stayed connected with them though, so not all connection was lost. Life had became surprisingly busy for Katsuya ever since graduation, thus he had seen Yugi a lot less compared to before. Katsuya did give his three friends a call once a week to keep up, but the group outings they used to do together slowly dwindled down. His family's financial conditions did not help his situation either, but with time, they were slowly improving. However, Katsuya wasn't the only one who was busy. Ever since they graduated, everyone's school or work schedule were different, thus causing conflict. Yugi was going to University and also spending more time helping his grandpa run the game shop. Hiroto went to college to study criminal justice and Anzu was taking performance arts at the same university Yugi was enrolled in. If there was one thing Katsuya really wanted to do right now, it was to go to college. But he couldn't. Not yet…

At the same time when everyone started to adapt into their new lifestyles, Mai returned to Domino after a year of absence. She had promised that she'd return once she became a better duelist after the whole Dartz episode and so she did. However, her promise was not the only reason for her reappearance, she had also returned to open Amaranthine with a person she met in her travels who inspired her to do so, Kurata Masuyo. Amaranthine had been around for a little more than six months—the exact length of time that Katsuya had been working there. The first person she went to in her return was Katsuya. When she told him about her plans, Katsuya congratulated and supported her and even asked if he could work there since he needed a job. Neither of them gave up Duel Monsters over the two years; Mai still believed she had much more to learn about duelling so she still thrived to improve. Together Mai and Masuyo planned, designed and opened up a mini restaurant that was a host café in the morning and a host bar at night. The host café was Mai's idea while the bar was Masuyo's. It took a few months to get Amaranthine built and ready for business, but once it opened, the word spread rapidly and it quickly became popular. The glamour Amaranthine held was a result from Mai of course; her taste for luxury never changed.

Unlike other places with Hosts, Amaranthine, as Mai put it, existed for women's happiness. Like living a dream, people can live a life around beautiful charming men and class all under one roof. It did not exist to gauge women's money (of course it was a business so profit had to be made, but taking money from women was not her goal) and it was a strict and clean place. Hosts did not work as hosts off work hours and did not sell themselves for a night as escorts or a night of love. All the employees (except the kitchen staff who were hired by Masuyo) who worked here were personally picked by Mai who chose only the best (according to appearance, character and likeability). The host's job is only to accompany guests who had requested them; chat, drink, flatter, make sure they enjoyed their time, make them feel comfortable with the place, etc.

Although Mai created the café specifically for women, Amaranthine is really open to all genders and ages. There was no requirement to request for a host. People could simply be going there to enjoy a small meal and a cup of coffee with their friends. There was no dress code for Amaranthine even though it looks slightly prestigious; it was a place for all. Requesting a host was a choice—an appealing choice to most women and even some men.

As Katsuya approached the table again, he noticed the girls kept giggling as Jin humoured them. Katsuya was never good with women (Shizuka doesn't count), he really wondered how Jin did it.

"Are you done with that, Miss?" Katsuya glanced at her plate which only had a few peas and mashed potatoes left.

The girl gestured to her plate with a wave. "Yes—and thanks."

Katsuya took the plate off the table and then smiled when he noticed one of the three girls staring at him for the millionth time that day.

"I see Ruriko here has a crush on Katsu," Jin teased.

Ruriko blushed and stared down at the table into her empty mug.

"Shut up, Jin Jin. You're making her uncomfortable." Katsuya punched Jin on his shoulder lightly before walking off to the other tables he was catering to pick up their empty plates and to listen to their needs. Ruriko continued to blush and stare at the empty mug as her friends teased her.

"Don't worry Ruriko, we were checking him out too," one of her friends said.

"Ohh?" said Jin with a grin, amusement evident in his voice. "What are your thoughts? I can tease him later. Katsu's very shy." That comment just made Ruriko blush even more.

Later, Katsuya returned to Mika's table again with a clipboard in his hand. "Jin's free for the next hour as well. He has no reservations from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. But after that he's reserved. Do you want to have Jin for a while longer or are these two hours enough?" The girls looked at each other and then turned to look at Jin, contemplating the situation. Jin simply winked and smiled at them.

"Um…how much was it again per hour for a host?" It was not Ruriko who spoke this time.

"¥2000 per hour." (2)

"Yes!" the three of them said in unison, "just a bit longer!"

"All right." Katsuya chuckled. "Anything else I can get you ladies?"

"Just more water please."

Katsuya nodded, poured them more water and then left them alone with Jin again.

"Oh! He has the cutest buns ever! I love the way he sways his hips as he caters and his smile! Definitely his smile!"

"Shut the hell up, Jin Jin!" Katsuya smacked Jin with his tray.

"Hey! Not the face! I'm a host!" Jin laughed. "He's probably the hottest waiter here yet!" Jin said in falsetto with a grin which made Katsuya glare.

"If you know what's good for you…" He raised his tray.

"Okay, okay! Jeez. They were checking you out, okay? I'm not lying!"

"Yeah well, I'm sure that wasn't what they said!" Katsuya turned and looked at the clock. "Five minutes left. You wasted our damn break, you stupid jerk!"

"Wasted? Since when is spending time with me a waste?" Jin was still grinning. "So I exaggerated a bit, it's all in the fun, Katsu." Jin reached over to stare at the clipboard with everyone's schedule on it and studied it for a few minutes. "Yuki and I are reserved for the same guests at eight? That rarely happens in this place. I thought our boss believed in being fair to customers."

"She does. No one else wants you, Jin J-" It was Katsuya's face's turn to meet the tray. "You jerk! I was only kidding!"

"Oh, sorry. Did I slip?" Jin held the tray like a shield, quickly got up from where he was sitting and ran for it.

"I'm not wasting the last few minutes of my break chasing a grown brat around." Katsuya folded his arms and stayed in his seat. "It's the only time I get to sit."

"You're no fun."

"Anyways, I heard the reserved table was a big group. Some people from some big company. That's why they asked for both hosts. There's going to be lots of people so it's okay to request for two."

"Oh. This is going to be interesting… Yuki and I have different styles. I'm the fun one and well he's…"

"Polite?" Katsuya 'helped'.

"Are you implying that I'm rude?" Jin faked a shocked reaction.

"Of course not. The funny ones are never rude. They never mean anything they say."

"If you two don't stop bickering, I can be pretty funny too." Katsuya and Jin both turned to face Mai who just walked into the break room. "It's really busy down there, so get ready. With the way you two argue, hours can fly by without you realizing it. The last thing I need is a tray war like you two had last time. We can't risk bruises on your faces." The two boys grinned at each other.

"Yes, Mom. But Katsu started it," Jin said in falsetto again.

"Did not. Jin Jin started it."

"My humour level is increasing by the second," Mai stated along with a chuckle and then placed her hands on her hips in an attempt to act serious. "You boys never change." She smiled. The boys then started to head down the stairs back down into the café with Mai following behind them.

"So since it's past seven now, you're just going to open doors and stuff, Katsu?" Jin asked as he ran his hands down the railings, descending smoothly.

"Yeah. Greet customers, show them their tables, clean up, open doors… Those kinds of things." Katsuya ran his hand through his hair and then started to comb it again. "Hey, it's slack."

Mai placed her hand on Katsuya's shoulder when they reached the last step. "Sure you should be saying that around your boss, Jounouchi?" She joked.

Katsuya just grinned in response, earning a wink from Mai before she left towards the kitchen. The two boys then headed to the entrance of the café. Katsuya handed a broom to Jin and motioned him to sweep, only to get it handed back to him.

"I'm a host. I'll greet the customers and I'll stand here and look good. You can sweep an-" The door to Amaranthine swung open and the broom got shoved into Jin's hands. "Hey!"

Katsuya gave Jin a smirk before turning towards the group of customers, 20 of them, mostly females, who just walked in. "Hi! Welcome to Amaranthine!"

"Hello!" a bunch of them said as they all glanced around the café curiously, excitement evident on their faces. They were clearly amazed at the design of the place.

A tall man, probably in his late twenties walked towards the podium where Katsuya stood and announced, "We have a reservation under 'Ochiai' at eight."

Katsuya gave him a warm smile. "Right this way." He stretched out an arm towards the direction of their table and the customers started to walk into the café.

"Hey," Jin whispered as he elbowed Katsuya lightly while leading the customers to the designated table with Katsuya, "that guy with the long light-blue hair keeps staring at you." Katsuya scanned the crowd and found the individual Jin was referring to. "He's pretty cute. You're sure getting a lot of attention today, Katsu."

It was strange. The light-blue haired man knew that he was caught in the act, yet he continued to stare. Normally when someone catches a person staring, they'd quickly turn away to pretend as if they weren't committing such acts. Puzzling.

"I'll take over from here. Thanks, Jounouchi." It was Shindou Naoki, another waiter. Katsuya nodded in response before Naoki turned to the customers and smiled. "This will be your table." He took the reserved sign off the large table (which was really three tables combined into one) and replaced it with his 'Hi, my name is Shindou Naoki. I will be your waiter.' sign.

Katsuya turned to the huge group of customers to give them a smile and then headed back to the entrance of the café to continue his tasks. He lifted up the clipboard to mark off the 'arrived' box for the reservation under Ochiai and then grabbed the broom. 'Better start sweeping' Katsuya thought. And so, he did.

Only seven minutes have passed since Katsuya started sweeping before Mai walked over to the podium where Katsuya was scribbling away on a stack of papers to talk to him. Katsuya had been working on a bit of paper work that Mai had asked him to help her with from time to time even though he was only a waiter. He was working on them since sweeping the entrance way didn't take very long.

"Jounouchi. There's a problem and it's related to you." That definitely caught Katsuya's attention. He looked up at her with confusion in his eyes.


"You know how the reservation under Ochiai has reserved both hosts?"


"Well, there's this one customer who wants you to accompany him."

"What? But I'm not a host!" Katsuya looked even more confused than before. "Whoa. And it's a guy?"

"I know. I've told him that. I even told him that you were underage so you can't be a host even if you wanted to. Since you're only 19, you can't serve alcohol or drink it. That's why you're not even serving any tables right now. But he wouldn't listen." (3)

"But, Mai, you're the boss. There are rules and laws and he can't just do this. Did he even read over the rules on the tables before this?"

"I know. I'm not letting him, and yes he did read them over. Shindou made sure of it. Anyways, you know I wouldn't let some random guy tell me what to do, but he requested that I should at least ask you first, so that's what I'm doing. If it satisfies him that you reject his request personally and it keeps trouble from starting, fine. Anyways, he said he's willing to pay triple for you and pay you even, the same amount. Also, he said he won't drink and so he wouldn't make you do it either. There's Shimizu and Sato to watch out for that so the law won't be broken." (4)

"Whoa. Triple? Pay me? Isn't it against one of the rules of Amaranthine to give gifts to hosts? Man, he's acting like he's Kaiba or something!"

"Kaiba? That thought didn't even cross my mind. You haven't mentioned Kaiba in ages. Miss him, Jounouchi?" Mai teased.


"Anyways, I told him that too but then he said that you weren't a host so that rule should not apply to you since that's not how it was written. After that he said we shouldn't take it as a 'buying you off' kind of thing because it's a special request so it should have a special fee. As long as you're okay with it, it wouldn't matter since it means he wouldn't be violating any of our rules."

Katsuya was dumbfounded. "But I don't know how."

"You've been working here for so long and you don't know how? I thought Sato rubbed off some on you. All you have to do is accompany him. You know… Chat? Entertain?"

"Is it a light-blue haired fellow?"

"Look, Jounouchi, you don't have to do this. I kind of prefer it that you didn't. People can't just walk in here and bend rules. And yes, it is a light-blue haired fellow. He has long hair, pony tail, eyeliner, young, handsome and a very nice voice."

Katsuya shuddered. This was definitely weird. What if this guy ended up to be some psycho stalker? But the money sounded so appealing! He weighed his pros and cons in his head. Money or risk a stalker? Money or risk a stalker? He needed money. Triple the amount. ¥6000 per hour! The guy might not be a stalker… Maybe he just resembled his past lover or something? Yeah, that has to be it… Or not. If he does violate him in any way he could call the just police right? He should be fine. He will be fine. Yuki and Jin were going to be there. Yeah, He'll be fine.

"Okay, I'll do it."

"Seriously?" Mai looked him in the eye sternly.

Katsuya couldn't face Mai. It did kind of feel like he was selling himself off. "It's good pay. You know I need it…"

Mai sighed. "Well if you want to, I won't stop you. Don't worry, Jounouchi. Sato and Shimizu will look after you."

Katsuya turned to look at her and gave her a grateful smile.

"Come with me then." Mai returned the smile and motioned him to follow her.

They walked up to the table and Mai nudged Katsuya to speak.

"I will accept your offer under certain conditions…" Katsuya cleared his throat nervously.

"And they are?" The light-blue haired man really did have a really nice voice! It was kind of sexy… The type of voice that would get women dazed and make them swoon with the whole 'my legs are feeling weak' cliché. Soft… Smooth… Alluring… This only made Katsuya feel more apprehensive. What did this guy want from him?

"You must follow the other rules. No harassment, no sexual violation, no threats or other offences, etcetera."

"Okay," the light-blue haired man responded without thought. What exactly does he want? Katsuya got more confused by the second.

"Sh-should I go change first, Mai?"

"It's okay. You look nice in your uniform." The light-blue haired man answered before Mai could.

"Well, I guess I'll go then. Call me if you need me." Mai gave them all a smile. "Enjoy." And she walked off towards the kitchen again.

"Why?" Katsuya looked at the light-blue haired man unwaveringly, who stared back just the same. "Why do you want me to host you so much?"

"You just resemble my deceased lover," was his reply. "I wanted to know if you were somehow related to him and it felt kind of like fate."

Katsuya would've gaped but it might've been rude so he didn't. He couldn't hide his shock though; his eyes widened a bit. What's with this cliché drama situation?

"Matsuo came from America. His lover, Sakamoto Kazuki, passed away three months ago and after two months and a half he decided to move to Japan for a bit, where he was born, to get over it. It was then when he was hired into our company, Hayasa, as one of our programming heads since he had great experience in the field," one of the female co-workers explained.

Hayasa was a video game producing company. They generally made games for This-Game, a console system from YamamotoCorp. Their games are very popular; Katsuya even owned a This-Game and played Hayasa games on it. His favourite series by Hayasa were the Sagas series.

"I'm not related to him."

"I guessed so. I just had to make sure. There are people who do look alike in this world after all," Matsuo said with a sad smile. "Your name is Jounouchi Katsuya, correct?" Matsuo peered over Katsuya to read his name tag. "Is it all right if I just called you Katsuya?"

Katsuya nodded. It didn't really matter. After all, Matsuo was a customer who was paying a high price for Katsuya's presence. To think all of this is just so he could feel like he was with his lover once more. Even though he thought these things only happen in those dramas Hiroto and Shizuka forced him to watch, it was a bit touching that Matsuo loved his deceased lover that much.

Matsuo gave Katsuya a small smile, which seemed a bit forced in Katsuya's opinion. "Katsuya." It actually sounded kind of nice coming out of Matsuo's lips. His sexy voice and all. Katsuya scanned Matsuo's features. He was handsome, beautiful and tall—probably the same height as Seto. He had blue eyes as well, but they were lighter (the same colour as his hair). He kind of looked a bit like Seto too. Matsuo wore glasses and a black choker around his neck with the letters SK on the middle made out of some sort of metal. Katsuya guessed SK probably stood for Matsuo's lover's name. His fashion sense was different from Seto's though. Like Seto, he had his own unique fashion, but unlike Seto, it was elegant, soft and can even be considered more feminine.

Naoki walked over to their table and brought them the drinks everyone had ordered earlier before Katsuya arrived at the table. "Are you all ready to order?" Naoki smiled and started to scribble down orders that the workers from Hayasa were saying one at a time.

"What do you recommend I order, Katsuya?" Such a sexy voice.

"Um. This one is good. It's my favourite." Katsuya pointed at the words 'Perpetual Love' on the menu then realized his mistake as Matsuo looked a bit bothered. He was probably thinking about his deceased lover and it really didn't help that the meal sounded like he could never move on. "Oh my god. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way. It's just a good meal for steak lovers. It has a good variety of vegetables, and a special sauce unique to Amaranthine. I'm really-"

"Shh." Matsuo placed his hand on top of Katsuya's which made Katsuya flinch a bit but he left his hand there. It wasn't a big deal. Katsuya didn't know how to host and he was probably doing a bad job since it looked like Jin and Yuki were providing the other guests a much better time, so if Matsuo wanted to just touch his hand, it was the least he could do. "I'm fine. I will order this then. I trust your judgement, Katsuya."

Katsuya blushed a bit. Damn his sexy voice. Every time Matsuo said Katsuya's name it seized his attention. It stood out from the rest of the words and it kind of startled him.

Matsuo placed his order and then turned to Katsuya and gave him another one of those smiles Katsuya felt was a bit forced, hand never leaving Katsuya's. He must be really upset…

Everyone conversed as they waited for their meals but Katsuya stayed silent and watched. Jin was busy making the women around him have fun and Yuki was too. The only difference was that Yuki had a few guys drooling over him while only girls were entranced by Jin. Jin was sexy and fun while Yuki was beautiful, graceful and elegant. Matsuo was talking to a man who was apparently Ochiai, who had his arm around Yuki's waist, about something Katsuya didn't understand. Not all the males in this group were gay of course. Like many customers, they came for food and to spend time with their friends.

Naoki and two other waiters eventually brought everyone's meal, each three at a time. Katsuya felt bad. He didn't know what to do and it felt like Matsuo paid so much just to hold Katsuya's hand. That's all they were doing; Katsuya had his right hand in Matsuo's left and Matsuo ate with his right. He looked over to Jin for help but all Jin did was give him a wink as the girls around him were taking turns feeding him a bit of their drinks. That made no sense to Katsuya so he just ignored it. He needed to at least come up with a good topic of conversation, but his brain refused to cooperate.

"Katsuya," Matsuo started suddenly.


"Tell me about yourself."

Well, it was a start, even if he wasn't the one who initiated it. "What do you want to know?"

"Anything about you."

"Well… I like Duel Monsters."

"You're a duelist? I'm guessing you probably own one of those duel disks manufactured by Kaiba Corporation?"

"Yeah! Kaiba always makes the coolest stuff!"

Seto really did. He always made the coolest equipment for Duel Monsters. Katsuya wondered why Seto even bothered going to high school, but he definitely didn't regret having him there. After The-Other-Yugi left, Seto started joining the gang at lunch when it rained. He'd sit across from Yugi and next to Ryou every time. He didn't act any different from before; on most days he remained silent and minded his own business. And like always, he'd get a little on the insane side when Yugi would duel with him, but this time without the gimmicks. Seto didn't like the idea of not using his duel disks but it was the school cafeteria after all, so it's duel or no duel. Yugi didn't always win, but he usually did.

Matsuo smiled. "Do you have your deck here?"

"In fact I do," he said proudly and reached into his pocket with his free hand to take it out.

"May I see it?"

"Sure." It wouldn't be another 'wahaha-Haga-throws-Exodia-off-ship' situation, right?

Matsuo was going through the cards and then suddenly stopped. Katsuya peered over his shoulder to see which card had caught Matsuo's attention. It was a magic card, Messenger of Peace.

"My sister wanted this card. If I paid you, would you sell it to me?"

Katsuya shook his head. "I'm sorry, I can't do that. That card was given to me and I wouldn't sell it for the world."

Messenger of Peace was not a card Katsuya thought he would ever have in his deck. He received it on the last day of his life as a high school student. Everyone was busy taking pictures with and of each other on that day. It was a milestone for many and it was definitely one for Katsuya. After school when he was engaged in picture-taking with his friends, Seto came up to him and asked to speak with him alone (which shocked everyone by the way.) Katsuya said he'd go with him under the condition that Seto would take a picture with them. To everyone's surprise, Seto agreed after a long pause. He guessed Seto didn't want to bother fighting on the last day of school. They had to take the picture three times because Seto was glaring at the camera in the first one and Katsuya elbowed Seto in the second making him turn and glare at Katsuya. The third one was perfect though, everyone jumped onto Seto. Yugi and Katsuya used their index finger to tug the corners of Seto's lips into a silly smile. That picture was Katsuya's favourite and it sat on the desk in his room. Every time he looks at it, he'd break into a fit of giggles or smile warmly at it. Seto got really angry at them after that so he grabbed Katsuya by the arm and dragged him to the roof.

Seto made sure they were alone prior to snapping open his briefcase. Completely unaware of what was going to happen, Katsuya got into a protective stance just in case. Seto took something out of his briefcase and then held the item out in front of Katsuya and stuck it into his hand. "Take it," was all Seto said before walking off without saying another word. Katsuya told him to wait and asked for the meaning of it all but Seto left faster than a man on fire running to the nearest pool of water. He then looked down at what was in his hand and it was the Messenger of Peace card:

You must pay 100 Life Points at each of your Standby Phases. If you cannot pay, this card is destroyed. All monsters with an ATK of 1500 points or more cannot attack. (5)

That was the last time he saw Seto. He figured it was Seto's way of acknowledging their friendship.

"Not even for Fi-" Katsuya squeezed Matsuo's hand and shook his head.

"Not even for all the money you had in the world. I could never depart with something a friend gave me. Cards from friends mean so much more than just a good addition to your deck. When I duel, it feels like they're fighting with me, that they're there helping me and cheering me on even when they're not physically there."

Silence ensued after Katsuya's words. Katsuya could see the corner of Matsuo's lips curving upwards. Matsuo looked like he was refraining from smirking. It must've sounded dumb to Matsuo but it wasn't! Katsuya didn't think it was and his friends didn't think so either. He had learnt a lot about friendship in the past with his friends. They went through so much, met so many people and learnt so many lessons. He abstained from frowning even though he wanted to.

They said nothing more as Matsuo was trying to finish his meal. Their hands never parted. Matsuo offered Katsuya some of his food from time to time but Katsuya always shook his head and thanked him for the offer.

Naoki came over to their table to check on everyone's status. When everybody had finished their meals, Naoki took out an empty glass and asked if they wanted to take up a fun challenge. Katsuya smiled excitedly since he knew Naoki was going to do another trick. The idea intrigued everyone so they agreed. Naoki asked one of the ladies if he could borrow a bit of their punch. She kindly agreed and he poured a bit of the punch onto an empty plate. "This is an easy one. Can anybody get all the punch on this plate into the glass without touching the plate?" They all sat quietly for a bit, trying to figure out how to do it, but they soon gave up. Naoki then took a slice of orange, pierced some matches into it and then placed the orange on the center of plate with the matches sticking up vertically. He lit the matches and then placed the glass onto the plate open-face down. The liquid got sucked into the glass and the vacuum held onto the now liquid-free plate tightly. Naoki held onto the glass and flipped it so the whole apparatus sat up. The punch was now at the bottom of the glass and Naoki never had to touch the plate.

Almost everyone in the group let out a collective gasp of wonder and amazement. They were all excited and smiling. A bunch of them asked Naoki a bunch of questions about the trick, and others chatted amongst themselves about how amazing the trick they just saw was.

The only person who wasn't excited by the trick was Matsuo; he looked more amused than anything. That expression reminded Katsuya of Seto when he…

Katsuya couldn't place his finger on it, but something about Matsuo really screamed Kaiba Seto—programming in the gaming industry, the physical attributes and a few facial expressions. He was like a Seto who smiled, a Seto who had a better attitude, a Seto who had a love life and a Seto who did not call him names. But then he knew that that meant he wasn't like Seto, yet he still felt like he was Seto. Perhaps he had lied about not missing Seto. It was true that he hasn't been thinking about him particularly over the year but he did feel a bit empty without having Seto around insulting him all the time. It had all fell into a daily routine in the past; he meets Seto, Seto insults him, he retaliates. Maybe he'll call Yugi tomorrow to ask about Seto. Maybe.

Even if Seto was a jerk to him, Katsuya still considered him a friend. The card Seto gave him was a sign of reciprocity. He was a friend.

An irreplaceable friend. (6)

Notes: It's getting there I swear! It is SetoJou. I'm sorry this chapter might've been too boring and seem too pointless… But thanks for reading and please do give me a review. I have little confidence in my writing abilities, so I really hope it wasn't too bad. Drawing is more of my thing. I might draw some of the original characters (and SetoJou for sure!) if people don't hate them or something.

(1) Amaranthine - adj. - Forever beautiful.

(2) ¥2000 is approximately $17 USD or $20 CAD.

(3) Legal drinking and purchasing age in Japan is 20.

(4) Shimizu is Yuki's surname. Shimizu Yuki.

(5) This was taken directly off the card. I personally think it's phrased oddly. Basically, all monsters with 1500 attack points or more on the field cannot attack. In order to keep the card on the field, the player has to give up 100 life points during each Standby Phase. Otherwise the card is destroyed.

(6) No, Katsuya does not have any romantic feelings for Seto. Yet. He only sees him as a friend.