Hey there, lovely readers! This is another attempt to postpone plowing through my writer's block with my other story. I work at a bookstore, so I've always wanted to write a story for Seto and Joey in a bookstore. And it would be cute, and funny, and life would be good. And then it turned into this. Heh, actually, it's not bad. I was going to do it all in a long one-shot. But I'm tired, so I shall split it and write the rest very soon. Enjoy, my loves!

My disclaimer: Oh, shoot. I challenged Kaiba so I could have Joey all to myself. And then he set my hair on fire. -sob-

My forewarning: Seto and Joey together shall be coming! And the two are going to be just a little OOC. Because Seto was just so much fun to write in this! n.n

Bookstores and Puppies

Kaiba loved books.

He loved everything about them: The worlds a book could take you to, the excitement before starting a promising new read, the satisfaction of turning the last page. He even loved the smell of freshly printed paper, and the cracking sound the spine of a book could make when opened all the way for the very first time.

As such, it would be reasonable to stand if one were to say that Kaiba loved bookstores.

Which he did. After a long hard day of staring at a computer screen, and occasionally on the weekends, the tall brunette loved to drive to his favorite bookstore and peruse the numerous shelves. He would pick a title that seemed promising, find a comfy armchair, and read the next hour or three away.

He sometimes brought Mokuba, who also appreciated a good book, but the adorable rugrat always seemed to attract the (unwanted) attention of every female in the building – including the workers – to his reading spot. On other days, when the powerful CEO was alone, they knew to keep their distance. His ocular fire that he would shoot at anyone within five feet of his person would see to that.

It was true that he had his own personal library at home that could probably house a small country. He had most books known to man, and the comfiest chairs every made. Yet, even after all that, he still could not become as relaxed as he could in his favorite bookstore.

He once mentioned this phenomenon to Mokuba. The young boy had donned his innocent (read: dark and purely evil) grin, saying that it was because he was so deprived of any social interaction that just being near another human being would most likely make him hard. The great Seto Kaiba, stoic teen millionaire, turned bright read and calmly stated – it was most definitely not a splutter, as Kaiba refused to call it later on. Powerful young CEOs did not splutter. It was highly undignified – an unconvincing threat to wash his mouth out with soap. Mokuba did not stop laughing until the brunette also threatened to turn off the cable. Mokuba instantly shut his mouth.

Well, social interaction or no, Kaiba loved his bookstore. Book in hand, tush in chair, he settled himself in for some quality reading time.

That was what he had in mind, at any rate. After a couple pages' worth of intriguing read (Kaiba had picked out a suspenseful mystery novel that had received great reviews, and already had him on the edge of his seat), Kaiba's silent atmosphere was shattered by a loud, obnoxious laugh. The CEO would later deny shooting three feet in the air, and would conveniently not be able to recall yelping in what could be mistaken for fright. Most definitely not.

What had caused this? A laugh. But this was not the laugh of someone with a sense of decency and respect to the unspoken rules of keeping a calm, quiet environment for those who wanted to enjoy in literary activities. No, this was obviously the laugh of someone who does not realize that their voice is so loud that it will cause blood to spurt from any eardrum within a twenty mile radius. This was also the laugh of someone who needed to die.

The brunette felt his eyebrow give a violent twitch. Maybe he had just had an extra stressful day at work, or maybe he was anxious over an upcoming meeting with an incompetent, and for some reason prospective, business partner. Whatever the reason, the young businessman knew he was running on a short fuse. And if he heard that laugh again, death would be had. Oh yes, it would.

Kaiba took a deep, calming breath. No. This was his special relaxation time. He was not going to let some annoyingly rude patron ruin that.

He sighed, shifting his weight to relax further into the fluffy seat cushions. He took another deep breath, arching his spine against the back of the armchair. After a small pop, he loosened his muscles once again and sighed, content. Finally ready to enjoy his solitary reading time, he licked his finger to turn the page, when—


--that goddamned laugh resounded throughout the store again, causing Seto to jerk and rip his page in two. He scowled. Now he would have to buy that. And Mokuba's voice popped into his head, calling his a cheap bastard of a Scrooge. Seto frowned some more. Obviously, he reasoned, spending too much time in society was beginning to have an adverse side effect on his brain. People could have that effect on you.

Seto snapped the book shut. How was he supposed to enjoy himself when some idiot persisted on making all of that racket? An evil aura of Death and Despair began to form around him.

With narrowed eyes, Seto scanned the room, intent on locating the condemned and unfortunate corpse-to-be. Sweeping his eyes across the area, wishing he had invented a stupidity sensor to assist in his search of murderous intent, his gaze landed on a mop of messy blonde hair. For a moment, he wasn't quite sure why his eyes lingered. There stood a tall, lanky boy about his age manning the Customer Service help desk. He wore baggy khaki pants with a dress shirt that appeared to be hurriedly, and only partially, tucked in. He had strikingly unruly hair, and wide chocolate eyes that sparkled in merriment. Seto had a vague feeling that he might be drooling. Judging by the nametag on his person, the teen genius oh-so-brilliantly deduced that he was an employee.

The blonde boy appeared to be listening to another teen around the same age. He wore an easy, carefree smile, obviously amused at whatever the other boy had to say. Seto couldn't quite hear the conversation, but upon seeing this boy that had caught his eye about to open his mouth to speak, Seto unconsciously leaned forward, wanting to hear what he would say.

The blonde appeared to take in a deep breath, and-


Seto's eye twitched, and the torn page that had been crumpled in his hand combusted into flames.

Him?! That horrendous, curse-upon-mankind laugh was coming from that gorgeous blonde idiot who obviously wanted – and needed – to die?!

Seto stood up in a huff, and his glare caused everybody within the city limits to shiver. Somewhere, miles away, a confused meteorologist stared at his computer data, which was predicting a sudden blizzard. In the middle of July.

Well, that was fine by him. He would show that obnoxious – though admittedly cute – blonde punk what happened when you screwed around with Seto Kaiba and his precious reading time. He turned a slight shade of pink. Screw… His scowl deepened. He really needed to get out less. The side effects were worsening. His mind felt…dirty.

He stormed over towards the help desk, trying to will the blonde into a quick and sudden death, that would preferably be antagonizing. Obviously, this blonde punk had no manners, as he did not immediately comply. In fact, he did not look anywhere near death. Kaiba mentally swore.

The blonde did, however, feel a prickling sensation as all the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end in warning to a possible psycho axe-murderer behind him. He stood frozen, silently debating the solidity of the hypothesis (though the blonde did not know the meaning of such a long word) that if he just closed his eyes, whoever was behind him would go away. He tried it, and slowly counted to three. He slowly pried one eyelid open, and timidly peeked over his shoulder.

Seto Kaiba glared nuclear missles at said blonde's person.

This, however, had the opposite effect that Kaiba had been hoping for. Instead of writhing on the ground in obvious misery, the blonde gave a sigh of relief, and smiled brightly. Seto was caught off guard for a second, momentarily mesmerized by the wide smile. It was kind of pretty…

Kaiba shook his head rather violently, mentally yelling at himself for being distracted. Intensifying his glare, he prepared to verbally beat the deserving brat into submission, when he suddenly froze.


The blonde's smile had suddenly turned into a smirk.

Was he--? The brunette blanched. Was he checking him out?!

Kaiba felt his face turn red as the blonde unabashedly looked him up and down, leering as he lingered on a certain region below his belt that was most definitely off limits. He had just been eye molested! How dare that punk think himself worthy to be graced with his presence!

"I'm Joey," the blonde finally spoke, and Kaiba was disgusted with himself for finding the employee's normal voice (when it wasn't caught in an evil screech that could barely pass for a laugh) even the slightest bit pleasing.

Kaiba was just about to tell Joey up where, exactly, he could shove his stupid hand, when the blonde spoke again, with a smug grin on his face. "You're cute."

Seto's jaw dropped open. Knowing he quite accurately resembled a fish, Kaiba could only simmer in embarrassment as he could not seem to stop his incoherent string of nonsensical words that all contained synonyms of the word, "Blugh?" Inwardly, Kaiba's mind was spazzing out in overdrive mode, making it very hard to think.

Then the blonde had to go and lean over the desk, smug smirk never leaving his face and – wow, his breath smells nice. Joey continued forward until their faces were mere millimeters apart, one looking quite haughty and the other looking quite like a sunburned tomato. Seto couldn't help but think that he had very nice brown eyes. Maybe this guy might not be so bad. He was kind of cute, after all.

With a provocative wink, and still grinning, the blonde asked, "Are you free tonight?" And then made an obvious show of trailing his eyes down to his censored to protect underage readers.

And that's when Kaiba stopped breathing. W-was that a proposition?! Okay, forget the might-not-be-so-bad crap. It was official. He was standing in the presence of a mad psycho rapist.

The blonde reached out and trailed a finger down the brunette's jaw line. Seto's brain was screaming at him, Run away, you idiot! This guy is going to take advantage of you and rape your ass and dump your sad body into the river. Do you really want that? Seto shook his head. No, not really. That did not sound pleasant. Not at all. His feet, however, seemed perfectly fine with ignoring the pleas of his brain and staying planted right where they were.

The blonde's voice was deep and husky, ghosting over the brunette's face. "I can make it worth your while." And in that instant, Kaiba realized with utmost horror that Mokuba was right about his lack of social interaction as all the blood left his face for a different head.

Oh dear God.

He was getting a hard on.

The last thing he heard in the bookstore was the blonde laughing his head off, and shouting out cheerily that it had only been a joke. The blood curdling laugh still rang in his eardrums.

And later, Kaiba would deny running away like a little sissy girl.

Haha! Oh my, I can't believe how much fun that was. Maybe because it's past one in the morning, and I'm somewhat slap-happy. Maybe my sense of humor is just plain weird. Ah well, it was fun, and that's that.

But you all should review!!! Because it shall make me happy, and I will write more really quickly!!

Periwinkle-blue button says: PUSH ME!