"Ti amo."

Jou didn't understand.

Not that he didn't GET IT...okay he didn't...

But it was mostly because he didn't know what Seto just SAID.

Jou and Seto had been dating for well over a year now. He knew Seto enough to understand these sorts of things. But why DIDN'T he?

He KNEW that was Italian. He KNEW Seto came from a very Italian family (On his father's side at least. His mother was pure Japanese.). He KNEW that Seto knew Italian as fluently as Japanese because his father spoke it very brokenly and he only knew enough to get by. He KNEW his father wanted him to understand him so he taught him and Mokuba Italian since birth.

HE.

KNEW.

SETO.

JUST.

SPOKE.

IN.

ITALIAN!

But what did it MEAN?

"What?" Jou asked, looking at Seto curiously. Seto blinked, surprised at that and repeated himself.

"Ti amo."

"No, I HEARD you, but...what does it mean?" Jou asked. Jounochi was partly ashamed of asking Seto this question. It made him feel like he didn't know his own boyfriend at all.
Jou had never seen Seto frazzled before. He'd seen him surprised, shocked and overall in awe but he'd never seen his boyfriend loose his cool.

Like he was now.

"N-Niente, niente.Dimentichi la I detta qualche cosa." The CEO panicked, his words blending together. Seto had once explained to Jou that Italian sentences flowed when they were properly constructed. Jou could barely tell if it was one sentence or one word. "Le mie parole non stanno avendo il significato. Non ascolti me. Dimentichi la I detta qualche cosa!" The Italian boy sounded like his head was about to explode. And was turning so red from embarrassment he looked the same. "D-De-De-Devo-Devo-Devo-Devo andare!" He said, speedily running from the rooftop, down the stairs back inside the school. Jou blinked standing there.

What had just happened?
And what the hell did he say?!

---
The CEO slammed open the boys bathroom door, dropping any false security he was putting on outside. Quickly checking all of the stalls and after confirming no one was there with him, he stood in front of the sink, looking into the mirror, into his own eyes. After a while, he spoke.

"Jou non parla italiano! Parla soltanto giapponese! COME POTETE DIMENTICARE QUELLO?!" He screamed at himself, before ramming his head against the wall several times.
"STUPIDO! STUPIDO! STUPIDO!"

---
"And then he just ran away?" Yuugi asked, raising an eyebrow. Jou nodded, sipping at his drink.
"I don't think it was a bad as you think, Jou. Kaiba usually doesn't freak out, but that doesn't mean it's a catastrophe." Anzu said.

"I know that. I'm the one who's been dating him for a year." Jou said. "It's just...I don't know what he said."

"What who said?" Yami asked as he approached the table, kissing Yuugi's cheek softly before sitting down.
"Seto said something in a different language-"
"Italian." Jou specified.
"Italian, and then when Jou didn't understand, Kaiba freaked and ran off." Yami blinked at that, looking to the blonde.

"What did he say?"
"I dunno. When he freaked, it all sounded mashed and rushed." Jou said. "But the thing he told me was 'Ti amo'."

"Well, 'ti' is a form of 'tu' which means 'you." Yami said. "And that's about as much as I know." Jou blinked.

"How'd you know that?"
"Back in my days as Pharaoh, I had to ...associate myself with Romans at one point. Romans come from Rome, which is now a city in Italy rather than being Italy in a sense, so I had to know a fair about of Italian. I don't remember much, but I do remember that." Yami said.

Jou sighed.

"Okay, so it was something about himself. Seto was telling Jou something about himself. But what?

"What does 'amo' mean?" Yami thought for a minute, trying to decipher the foreign words in his equally foreign but much older brain.

"I'm not sure...I never learned that one...or I forgot it."
"Nice." Yuugi muttered with a small amused smile. Yami raised an eyebrow at his lover but Yuugi grinned.

"But it's probably a verb...or an adjective...that ends with o...and has three letters...one of the two."

"I thought it had three."
"No, it's a three letter word that's either a vowel or an adjective."
"A vowel?" Yuugi asked.

"Augh!" Yami groaned at his mess-up. "A VERB! An adjective or a VERB."

...oh THAT narrowed it down.
What did he try to say? Jou smelled? Jou was pretty? Smart? Dumb? Ugly? What?!

---

Seto knew better than to try to hide his face behind his locker door. It would only make Jou suspicious and their morning rendezvous more complicated to explain. When he HAD to explain whether he wanted to or not.

"Hey Jou." Seto said quietly, pulling out his Biology binder.
"What happened this morning?" Jou asked.

Ooh. Puppy was quick to the punch this time.
"Jou, I assure you that whatever was said up there should be forgotten." Seto said.
"Was it bad?" The puppy questioned.

"No, not BAD...you just didn't understand me. And...it...my freak-out was more that I forgot you couldn't understand and saying it anyway rather than my saying it." He explained. "Italian is kind of like my safety language. I mostly use it when I don't want people to understand me."
"So then why did you say it in Italian, whatever you wanted to say?"
"Lot of questions today, aren't there?" Seto sighed. "I...didn't want anyone to hear it...I wanted YOU to hear it but...no one else...I can't..."
Oh God, his face was burning again...He was bright red, he knew it!
"Seto, you look like a tomato." Jou said. "No wait...your face isn't fat enough for a tomato...Hm...maybe more like an apple."
"I get the point." Seto said, his voice quieter than before.

"Are you okay?"
"Can we please not discuss this here where people can HEAR us?" The CEO asked.
"Kaiba, you're Adam's apple's quivering." Jou said, blinking at the strangeness of the shaky bulge in Kaiba's throat. A hand flew instinctively to its owner's neck, trying to hide it as the handsome male muttered "Accidenti."
"What?"

"N-Niente-Nothing-N-Jou!" Seto finally whispered harshly. He swallowed hard, stopping the shaking took a deep breath (his face steadily returned to normal as he did this) and said in his normal-volume voice. "Jou, listen to me. What I said up there, I'll say it again someday. It might not be soon, it might be, I don't know. But just trust me when I say that when I do, you'll understand it." He finally said, looking the puppy in the eye. "Okay?" Jou looked at him.

"...Okay."
"Thanks." Seto said, kissing the blonde on the forehead softly.
"By the way, what you said right now," Jou asked.
"Accidenti." Seto said, with a small cross between a smile and as smirk. "Means 'damn it'." Jou chuckled.

"I'll be sure to remember that."
"I say it rather often, I'm surprised you didn't hear." Jou blinked at Kaiba, smirking slightly.
"Well, I'm not paying attention when you whisper things to me that I don't understand."
"Jou, three nights ago, I wasn't whispering it." He said with a raised eyebrow and a smirk. The puppy laughed at that one.
"Well, I was too busy with myself, thanks."

"You shouldn't have been."
"Let's stop now, I ran out of witty comebacks. I'll think of one later, though."

"And I'll think of a better one." Seto said, closing the locker until Jou grabbed the edge of the door with a soft "Hey.". The CEO stepped aside and let his boyfriend store his books.

Seto knew that Jou's curiosity hadn't been sated, just put off. But hopefully for a long enough about of time in which Seto can say what he hoped to say. And as the blonde closed the locker and smiled at him, The CEO wrapped an arm around his shoulders as his mind whispered to the puppy a soft 'Ti amo' that Jou likely couldn't hear.

---

"I'm telling you man, slice of pizza will do you good." Honda said to the blonde as they sat down.

"This place serves some of the best pizza in town." Yuugi agreed, laying back in the booth.

"Yeah, I hope so." Jou said, listening to the owner and his wife babble in Italian. He thought of Seto's words ('Ti amo'...) but quickly shook off the thoughts as the waitress arrived.
"I take order, si?" She asked in a rich Italian accent, smiling. Honda 's eyes darted across the menu as an older, large man came up behind her.
"What are you doing, you've had a migraine all day." He said to her, his Japanese a bit better.

"I take orders. No headache stop me." She smiled, raising her chin. The man smiled, rolling his eyes and turning to the three.
"She's a trooper." He said with a chuckle. "I can't get her to rest for a second."

"Work now. Rest later. Gets everything out of way." He grinned. The male laughed, kissing her forehead softly.

"Ti amo." He muttered. Jou raised his head.
What did he say?

She giggled.
"Ti amo."

There it was again!

"What does 'amo' mean?" Jou asked them. They blinked. "Someone said it. I don't know what it means. I know that 'ti' is 'you' but..." The male smiled, walking over to the specialty board and erasing it.
"Giuseppe-" The woman started.

"I'll put it back up later." He said. He quickly wrote on the board, writing down three letters (o, i and a) and then writing on the other side of the board 'iamo' 'ate' and 'anno'. At the top he wrote:

Amare To love.

"Amare is a verb." He explained. "So we conjugate it. 'O' is for 'I' or 'myself'." He explained, writing 'am' next to the 'o' and writing 'I love' next to that. 'Tu' is for 'you', like you said-" As he turned around he blinked, Jou now gone.

"Where did he go?" he asked. Yuugi and Honda grinned as did his wife who pointed out the door,.

"Gone."

---

"I'm coming! I'm coming!" Seto sighed loudly as he hurried down the stairs to the door as the person rang the bell for the millionth time. "Accidenti...Nessuna pazienza..." He muttered as he opened the door. He blinked in surprise as he saw a tired panting Jou in front of him.
"Pupp-Jou?" he corrected himself, remembering Jou hated being called a puppy. "What-AH! AH! AH! OW! WHA'D I DO?!" He cried out as the blonde ripped and pulled at his brown tresses, yanking and twisting.

"You're so stupid!" Jou yelled. "Stupid and not bright, and unintelligent-
"THAT'S ALL THE SAME THING! OW! LET GO OF MY HAIR!" he cried out, grabbing Jou's wrists and stopping him. The blonde let go and laughed, hugging Seto tight as the CEO was again, surprised.

"Jou?" he asked but got nothing but another laugh and a tighter squeeze.

"Stupid and wonderful and the biggest sappy hopeless romantic I've been dating for years!" The puppy grinned.
"Romantic?" Seto asked. "Our first date was to Burger World."
"At my request." Jou grinned.

"Not the point, but how is all of this true now?" The brunet asked. The blonde smiled.
"Say it again."
"Say what?"

"What you said this morning." Seto turned pink somewhat at the memory of his idiocy.
"Jou, I told you."
"Just say it." Jou said, pulling away a bit and looking at him. "I want to hear it." Seto sighed, knowing he wouldn't get out of it. He looked at Jou, right into the warm brown eyes he'd fallen for a year ago and it was just too easy to say...

"Ti amo." He whispered softly, feeling every syllable and meaning it. Jou broke into another smile and hugged him again.

"I love you!" He squealed. "Ti amo means I love you!" Seto blinked and looked at Jou, his heart skipping a beat.
"You...know?" Jou chuckled.
"God bless pizza. Yes, I know. Just learned it a few minutes ago. I ran here all the way from Giuseppe's Pizza, you know." Blue eyes got wide.
"Jou, that's twenty blocks!"
"I know." Jou grinned, kissing his lover softly. Seto relaxed and softly pressed his lips back, smiling a bit as the two broke apart. "Stupid hopeless romantic." Jou laughed. "Can't even tell me you love me in Japanese..." Seto felt his face turn bright red again as he stared down at Jou with a smirk.
"Yeah, that's me. The guy who bought you a One Month Free coupon to the ice cream parlor and a bag of cheap chocolate dipped cookies for your birthday."

"I consider that romantic." Jou said, walking inside. "We split an ice cream."

"A cone. And then the store took away the coupon." Seto chuckled, following him.

"Hey, why does 'ti' come before the 'amo'?" Jou asked, back on subject.
"The pronoun is more important than the verb, puppy." Seto said.

"Don't call me that!" The Italian boy rolled his eyes.
"I'll say it one day in Japanese." He said.

"Why not now?"
"I told you, I just...I say things in Italian when I'm whispering or when I don't want people to hear it or when I get emotional."
"You didn't tell me those other two." Jou said.
"Well, if I said out loud the things I was whispering or the things I said when I got mad or upset, the world would know how Italian I am. And in Italy, they would censor me during the duels against Yuugi." He said. Jou laughed, clinging to Seto's arm and leaning against him. Seto smirked, smiled, a cross between the two and kissed Jou's blond hair softly.

"Ti amo."
I love you...

---------------------------------

Digi12: My sappiest work yet...SighOh well. I hoped my crazy puppyshipping fans liked it anyway.

And now for the translations:

Ti amo-I love you (Duh)

N-Niente, niente.Dimentichi la I detta qualche cosa-N-Nothing, nothing. Forget what I just said.

Le mie parole non stanno avendo il significato. Non ascolti me.-The things I'm saying aren't making sense (Sort of what it means) Don't listen to me.

Devo andare- I have to go.

Jou non parla italiano! Parla soltanto giapponese! COME POTETE DIMENTICARE QUELLO?!-Jou doesn't speak Italian! He only speaks Japanese! HOW CAN YOU FORGET THAT?!

STUPIDO! STUPIDO! STUPIDO!-STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!

Accidenti- Damn it/Damn. A swear.

Niente-Nothing

Si-Yes

Nessuna pazienza- No patience