A/N: Yikes, I haven't done a Yu-Gi-Oh! Fic in a loooong time... :3
Jou's Guide to Becoming the Perfect Boyfriend
Chapter 1: Enlisting the Mutt's Help
Seto Kaiba stalked down the tech-like hallway into the KC Conference Room, where he needed an important status report on the reputation of his company. Apparently, he had received word that his stocks had dropped...again. In fact, it was dropping even lower than during the KC Grand Prix and he had a cold feeling that another tournament wouldn't help him this time.
He slammed the doors open regally but in agitation. This would not bode well with him. The Conference consisted of one of his staffs that dealt with advertising and press related decisions to further monopolize Kaiba Corp.
He hated to deal with these kind of people. There was always some sort of hair-brained scheme that pooled into the company's treasury, or even worse, having him to do something.
But, like a responsible, cold-hearted CEO, he gritted his teeth and had to bear it.
Briskly walking to his lone seat at the far end of the table, he showed no expression as he sat down on the expensive leather, intimidating the individuals in the room with a calculated stare.
"Well? I hired the lot of you to raise and maintain the reputation of this company, but I guess I misjudged the intelligence of everyone in this room if my stock prices are dropping rapidly," Kaiba growled coldly. "Give me a reason not to fire your asses and kick you out into the street."
The group looked at each other worriedly, but most aimed their glances at the one sole person sitting in the seat opposite of Kaiba. The glanced person cleared his throat awkwardly.
"Mr. Kaiba, as Head Director of Press, we have thoroughly looked into why...stock prices have been dropping..." He said the last part with a cold shiver. "And it has nothing to do with the company."
The CEO's cold stare dropped into a glare. "Excuse me? You better inform me of what IS wrong, or you'll suffer severely."
Looking at the others, it gave the director the little bit of confidence to speak up. "It's you."
"It's me?" Kaiba repeated with a warning snarl. "I'M the reason why this company is suffering?!"
"N-no!" the Director stuttered hurriedly. "N-not...YOU...in particular. The public h-has recognized that you are an eligible bachelor over t-these few years a-and we think that they might not find y-you...appealing anymore to many c-customers..."
The Director jumped when Kaiba snapped the pen in half in his right hand, his anger growing.
"So it's my personal life that those idiots worry about over revolutionary gadgets this company has to offer to pull this caveman economy into the future?!" Kaiba roared at the trembling members. "I'm not some glamor-driven celebrity who beds someone every week! I'm a respectable CEO and shareholder of a respectable company and all you can tell me is this crap-issue?!"
One of the members, a brave but foolish female stood up. "Please, Mr. Kaiba!" She begged. "You are twenty-five years old! We're just suggesting that the public might turn to you if you, I don't know, married someone!"
There was an abrupt silence in the room as she dropped the bomb, but they could feel their employer's blood boil.
"I have no intention to marry," Kaiba replied emotionlessly. "Ever."
She gulped and tried again. "...well then, why don't you...just date someone at least. To get the public's attention."
"Date?" Kaiba echoed. When he began to rise from his seat, the group looked ready to seek shelter underneath the expensive black desk, but was relieved to see a curious expression on his face.
He 'hmphed' and walked toward the doors but stopped short. "Are you absolutely sure?"
They all silently nodded, unsure whether to speak up or not.
The CEO stared back at them with an almost annoyed expression. "I'll see what I can do."
The only problem was: he didn't know how to actually date someone.
His first plan of action was to find a suitable specimen to start the courtship with. He grudgingly ordered his information line to find the best women on the face of the planet who was rich, famous and for the most part, attractive.
When he received the list however, he nearly crossed out an entire page, for having met them before and finding them utterly repulsing.
At last, he narrowed it down to the top three that he deemed worthy and sent word to meet with each of them separately, to get to know with how she acted but for the most part to see how well connected she was to other multi-billion dollar companies. For him, it was an intensely grueling process.
He met with the first two and found them distasteful. At the mere mention of having the slim chance of dating the infamous Seto Kaiba, they jumped on him before he could finish, 'Hello'.
The last one was a different story. He never really had an affinity to royalty, as it was his belief that the ones born into royalty never had to work to the top as he did. Therefore, he considered them inferior to even over the common man. At least they worked for what they earned.
This girl was regal in every way, being an Heiress to a Viking Dynasty, not that he cared. Her connections wasn't as great as he had anticipated, but she was very quiet and easy on the eyes. She would have to do.
She accepted his proposal graciously and to his surprise, the news of him deciding on someone from the opposite sex spread like wild fire. Every magazine, newspaper, news channel, gossip stations, and word on the streets were filled with only the news of his interest in a girl.
The stock prices skyrocketed and he smiled around his cigar as he read the evening Wall Street Journal in the New York Times paper he specifically ordered from America. The United States was his biggest buyer, right next to China and India, so he always watched out for them. Everything was back to where it should be.
Except for one problem.
His Press Team suggested going on a date with Heiress Freya in a public setting to which he dropped his cigar from his mouth in shock.
He wasn't afraid of dating someone, it was just he didn't know what to do in those situations. He had no idea how to woo a girl or be...caring to a girl on a personal level. They only personal situations he had was on the dueling field against his rival Yugi and the mutt...
Even though he'd rather eat his Dueling Disk before asking the dog for his help in anything, (Kaiba always accentuated that he was better than Jounouchi at anything), it endangered his company, and that came second in his life. (Behind Mokuba of course who topped the number one spot).
Kaiba was pretty sure Jounouchi had romances in his life. He was almost certain that the mutt had hooked up with that Valentine woman, the last time he saw him.
Even if it was seven years ago.
Sighing in annoyance, he gained the information needed to track down the mutt and enlisted the fastest limo to find the oblivious blond.
"Are you sure this is the place?" Kaiba raised an eyebrow to his driver.
"Yes sir, Mr. Kaiba. Mr. Katsuya Jounouchi works at the Sanban Cafe weekdays from eleven am to twelve pm," The driver answered monotonously.
"Hmm..." It was quite a fall for the third-ranking duelist in the world; to be a busboy at an inexpensive restaurant. Nevertheless, he disguised himself with a pair of expensive sunglasses and an overcoat and proceeded in. Due to the raging inferno of his personal life bared to the public, he couldn't risk a mob attack from the peasants.
He walked into the very warm establishment, seeing families together in large booths and children messing around in their booster seats. The restaurant was very noisy and crowded and Kaiba thought that it suited the mutt. He was noisy and loud too.
Reaching a pedestal to where one of the waiters waited to take him to a seat, he asked to be sent somewhere a little more quiet and in Jou's area of movement. With a raised eyebrow, the waitress led him to a solitary booth for two where he ordered coffee and waited for a chance to find the infuriating duelist.
Surprisingly, fate found him.
"Well, well. If it isn't Kaiba," A taunting whisper directed at the back of Kaiba's neck. The cold CEO ignored the adrenaline telling him to jump, instead he turned rigid from the hot breath. "In disguise, no doubt." The sound of Jou's voice was hinting at playful as he rounded to face Kaiba head on.
Kaiba removed his glasses and cerulean blue eyes met rich hazel ones like magnets, a familiar spark of bitter rivalry was very small but still tantalizingly there. He looked Jou up and down.
The mutt had grown an inch or two, but he knew that he was still shorter than Kaiba's six foot three height. His hair had gotten more golden, instead of the annoying bright yellow he was used to seeing back in the day and it was a bit longer too, where strands lightly hit his shoulders. It was long enough to be put in a nice, but messy pleat and Kaiba wondered if it felt as soft as it looked. Even as a busboy, Kaiba had to admit, Jou had grown to look very dashing in it and the proof was certain in the many women's stares upon him all around the resturant.
"If you don't mind temporarily leaving from your menial duties, Mutt," Kaiba finally said with a smirk. "I'd like you to sit down and consider a proposition from me."
"Uh, huh," Jou tilted his head curiously, looking for something malevolent in doing so. Seeing none, he sat down opposite at him and gave a cheeky grin. "So, word on the street is, you've finally hooked up with somebody."
"Couldn't afford a newspaper so you had to eavesdrop on other people's conversation?" Kaiba taunted with a hint of affection in it. He had grown from cruel retorts and it was almost nice to see someone from his teenagehood again. Someone that actually existed in his memory apart from Mokuba.
"At least I don't go around telling people that I'm a walking virgin," Jou pulled out a copy of 'Japanese Rumors' magazine depicting Kaiba's sullen face with the mini-headline: 'Seto Kaiba's First Love...Still Virgin???'
"Shit," Kaiba rubbed his face. He never bothered to realize the power of gossiping, where they'll twist anyone and anything to get a story.
"Ah, don't worry," Jou threw the magazine aside and gave him a smile, the truest smile he had ever seen upon him. "I don't read this crap either. My sis just sent it to me today. She's got a thing for gossip columns."
Kaiba realized that Jou had grown very mature since the last time he saw him. The old mutt would be spitting rude retorts at every interval if he had his hands on that jewel. "Listen," Kaiba urged quietly. "I'm asking you for a job proposition and I'll pay you for it too."
The mention of pay pricked Jou's ears up. "Seriously? What's the catch?"
The second-place duelist looked around carefully, watching for any eavesdroppers and dropped his voice to a careful whisper. "I need help."
Jou choked, trying not to laugh. "You? Need help from me?"
"Yes," Kaiba replied seriously. "I don't..." Ra, it was so hard to tell him such personal information. "...know how to be a good boyfriend."
There was silence and Kaiba sincerely hoped that Jou wouldn't burst out laughing.
But he didn't, instead he was surprised to see a look of compassion on Jou's face. "I didn't expect you to," Jou answered. "It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Surrounded by only technology and your brother would pretty much make you inept socially, right?"
Wow. Jou did grow up. "Will you help me?" Kaiba swallowed his pride down, which was a big thing. But, he needed the people's attention on his company and it was the only way.
Jou smirked and stood up, raising his hand towards Kaiba. "Alrighty then! But I want three-fifty an hour, got it?"
Kaiba blinked as he stood up as well. He gave his long held breath out and grasped it. "Deal."
"You're in for a major overhaul of reeducation, Kaiba!" Jou grinned in pleasantness. "Welcome to Jou's Guide to Becoming the Perfect Boyfriend! Lessons start tomorrow!"
And that, Kaiba realized, was the beginning of the end.
A/N: Yay, first chapter! My inspiration for Yugioh is back! Wheee!!
Reviewing is much appreciated!