Author's Note: Apparently the cliff-hanger proved to be a fatal …weapon. I apologize and I sincerely hope this chapter will leave you a bit satisfied than before. Haha, thank you beloveds!
Italics for the first part are Ryugi Otogi's thoughts. Just letting you know if the context doesn't help you enough.
"Welcome," His voice was targeted to the curious boy that just entered. "To the Cat Café."
The darkened eyes now glistened as they met his own, revealing an inquisitive, emerald sea beneath it. The boy gradually followed the tall man and took his seat in a cornered chair.
He looked around the so called café as he heard gentle laughter, music, and sighs of contentment. It was then that he noticed two figures walking- no, running around with Lolita dresses on and cups heavily on each arm. The second a white haired boy's grey eyes matched with his, he instantly blushed but realized that the boy was actually staring at the taller man he was greeted with.
"It's fine, I'll handle them for now."
His voice was definitely nonchalant; prideful almost, but no one would notice the arrogance because they would all be dazzled by the fact that this guy was incredibly …cool.
"Would you like anything?"
He grasped his attention as if it was already given.
"W-What do you have?" The green eyed boy answered. He swore in his heart he didn't just stutter since Ryuji Otogi, never stutters. He had to show him that two can play this game just as fair, just as intolerant.
"Here," The sapphire pair encircled the café and slightly whistled as he aimed at the man in the corner with, again, obvious good looks and an amazing hair style at that.
"Menu." He commanded and the man surrounded by other men deftly threw the menu over many heads and successfully into the blue eyed man's hand.
Couldn't he just walk up and get it?
He scoffed but took the menu anyway, realizing how hungry his body actually was.
With all the commotion and the curiosity, he forgot what his stomach was demanding, and once again for Ryuji Otogi, that doesn't happen too often.
"I'm the pâtissier. If anything does not …satisfy you, I'll pay for it."
Again with his arrogance.
"Sure. I'll get a Buchette Delice and a mocha zebra."
His thin arm rose and summoned the same waiter he talked to earlier.
"A Buchette and a mocha zebra."
The girl smiled, giving Otogi a familiar ring to the other man that passed this guy a menu. They looked alike.
"Is that kid a boy or a girl?"
"What do you think?"
"I can't tell."
"A healthy boy and still growing."
Otogi smiled at the man named Seto, finally realizing what 'type' of café this store was.
"I see- it's a host club, café version. With all the necessary components to pleasure: Good looking men, cosplaying boys, delicate desserts, hungry customers till three. It must be my lucky day."
Seto smirked back and tapped the table indifferently.
"Glad you took notice, and considered it 'lucky'."
"What are you? Just a boring baker?"
Otogi watched Seto's eyes differ in interest.
Finally, some attention was mutual.
"Would it make a difference if I owned the place?" His smirk was still a thin line on his lips.
"No, it wouldn't. But if you were a host it would make some form of increase."
"I don't need the money."
"But they seem to need you."
His head tilted at the men in the corner- without the white haired man or the man that threw Seto the menu- apparently host-less and drooling at the sight of Seto.
"I refuse." He hissed.
"Well mighty owner- you're not too kind releasing your workers free in some wolf's cage."
"Here's your Buchette Delice, and mocha zebra."
''Perfect, thank you," He glanced over at the handsome boy. "What's your name, babe?"
The boy giggled as he scratched his hair clumsily.
"Yugi, but by hearing your voice I can tell I didn't fool you."
"No, don't get me wrong- I thought you were a tragically beautiful girl before this guy mentioned you were a growing boy."
Seto revealed a grunt.
"The name's Otogi Ryuji."
"Nice to meet you Otogi-kun, I hope you enjoy your stay." Yugi let out a gentle smile and hurried off to the next table.
The cerulean pair watched as the boy took his fork just as delicately as he sipped his mocha from a damned mug. The fork pierced through the soft cake, the layers of thin ganache ignored. The guy looked like he knew what he was eating so Seto gave a cold smug as the buchette entered his small mouth.
He expected a sigh of relief.
Even something orgasmic.
But nothing but a nod of agreement.
He watched the green pair gently close as he nodded, reaching for a sip of the mocha again.
"That's it?" Seto found himself saying irrationally.
I got you now, big boy.
"The rum was abused. Too much of it with the sponge cake- it drenched the whole ganache. The only thing I really liked about it was the butter cream and I'm sure the head-chef doesn't do such petty work; his co-workers do."
Seto laughed, alerting all those around him. The ridiculous customer, the fellow hosts in the corners, the hiding men that just watched Seto- they all noticed the low, hearty laughter.
"Alright. I'll pay for it."
"Ah- that was not the point, Seto,"
Seto's eyebrow went up at the sudden familiarity, but he gave him a change nonetheless.
"What if I'm not the only one who notices this? What if your slightest mistake was caught by innocent customer that just joined for a good slice of cake? What would your business do then?"
Seto chuckled again- this ludicrous story was quite addicting.
"What is your point then, Otogi?"
"To ensure your café's success by making you a host."
"And you're sure my self-employment would be significant enough to protect me from my bad pastry?"
"Hell yeah it would. And want to hear the good part?"
Otogi took another bite of the cake and sipped his mocha in delight. Seto smirked as he watched the boy.
"You can start with me."
The kiss started out hungry- but realizing that Jou was actually accepting the kiss, Otogi decided to take it slow.
The blond was a talented kisser; everything stayed inside the mouth- the taste, the tongue, the pleasure. He knew very well the blond wouldn't remember the next morning, that the poor boy was too drunk to even realize that this was happening, but Otogi would remember- remember everything, even before Jou entered in the picture.
Jou suddenly realized a droplet on his hand.
He opened his eyes lightly to see a pair of teary eyes, blinking away the tears well formed on his emerald eyes.
He called out, holding the boy's face in his hands, wiping the tears softly.
"I'm a sad bastard- that's what I am, Katsuya. I'm a mess and I don't know what to do with myself," He started ranting in pain. "I drown myself in self pity and yet I still linger here like there's something good enough reason for me to stay. What am I going to do Katsuya, what am I going to do with myself?"
The blond reeled in the boy and hugged him tightly, caressing his back and his long hair. He ignored the rising tension in his temples, and kept whispering words of love and comfort for Otogi. It was like what he used to do with Shizuka after her nightmares.
"Let's just sleep for now, we both need the rest."
Otogi nodded and while he settled in bed, Jou cleaned up the house and waited till his drunkenness calmed down. He was enjoying the solitude but he knew very well it was only for this minute.
He realized Seto hadn't even tried to look for him.
"Seto-kun," Yugi quickly ran up to the brunet. "Did you go back home?"
But by looking at the same clothes, the heavy eyelids, the darkened face- Seto remained in the hospital till this morning. The brunet gently patted Yugi on the shoulder, smiling weakly.
"He's okay- abnormal fatigue and poor appetite."
A stronger hand landed on Seto's shoulder, revealing Bakura at his side.
"I can take care of today; they're all in the fridge."
Yami entered from the kitchen with Ryou and hid no shock. "You look like shit."
Ryou rushed to Seto's side and offered him a cup of coffee, Seto taking it instantly and gulping the liquid down his throat.
"I'll be back, call me if anything happens."
He gave the cup back to Yugi and took out his car keys with a short wave- walking to leave the café when abruptly a figure walked through the same doorway.
The loud voice immediately shut itself up at the sudden encounter he was sure expecting, but not welcoming.
"Jou-kun!" Thankfully, Yugi took the blond out of Seto's sight and turned him around out of Seto's path-
but it was too late.
Seto's right hand caught Jou's wrist deftly and pivoted his entire posture to face the taller brunet.
"S-Seto, I'm sorry and I want to work-"
His speech was again cut off as his fellow coworkers watched the blond fly off with Seto's pull, out the door, out of the café.
Jou's wrist began to ache but he remained silent in self punishment. He was forced to ride Seto's car and drive off to a destination in hell for all he knew. But by the look on the brunet's face he knew very well to keep himself shut and stay that way.
The car raced, taking its wild turns where Jou most unexpected it to- entering an unfamiliar neighborhood, to another building that read 'Hospital'.
"S-Seto? Is it," Jou finally spoke, but paused. "M-Mokuba?"
He parked roughly, getting out of the car without any response. Jou began to cry, silently cursing to himself, following the brunet out of the parking lot to a small elevator.
Seto pressed the top floor and gently took Jounouchi's hand with his own, pulling it closer to him tightly. The blond began to cry a bit louder, sniffing and losing his breath.
"Tell Mokuba we didn't fight- tell him we're alright. Tell him he's alright, and he's going to be fine."
Jou nodded and remained his hand in Seto's grasp, wiping his face with the other.
The elevator door opened and surprisingly Seto didn't let go- even when people passed by staring; he ignored the attention and arrived in front of Room 316.
A woman was there talking to Mokuba with a generous smile on her face. She grinned at the sight of Seto but looked at him with a disapproved smile.
"I thought I told you to go home and rest, Seto." She stood from her seat, revealing her tall height and long, fierce hair.
"Jou- nii!" Mokuba exclaimed, watching the blond enter with his brother in happiness.
"Hey Mokuba," He smiled and walked off, letting go of Seto's hand after a firm hold of insurance. "How are you, buddy?"
"I'm kind of hungry. Can you sneak off some chocolate cake after work today?"
"Sure thing." The blond promised, nuzzling the boy's hair- ignoring the fragile, pale face.
In the corner of the room he heard the stranger and Seto murmur gently.
"I just brought the mutt over. I'll leave as soon as they're done."
"Promise me you won't go to work- it's unnecessary."
"I'm not going to fall in an oven, Ishizu, stop treating me like an overworked idiot."
"You and I both know you're overworked, maybe not an idiot, but overworked. Do us all a favor and get some sleep- it's ridiculous."
"Jou-nii," Mokuba's voice was dear. "Do you want to hear about my dream? I didn't tell anyone yet, because I thought it would be rude of me."
"Sure thing! Is it a dream from last night?"
Mokuba gently nodded and Jou leaned in closer to reassure his full attention for the boy.
"I saw you and Seto-nii in a secret garden," Mokuba started enchantingly. "Drinking tea and eating nii-san's cakes," Jou glanced over the brunet to make sure he wasn't hearing his awkward reverie. "But suddenly- you started crying! Really loud, sobbing and putting your head down on the glass table- gasping for breath!"
Jou was listening now.
"Seto-nii didn't know what to do so he stood from his seat and walked over to you- held you and asked you what was wrong over the tears. But you kept telling him the same thing over and over again,"
Jou's eyes glistened.
"You want to know what it is?"
"Yes." Jou whispered, smiling gently.
"You kept saying: My back, Seto, My back really hurts."
Mokuba nodded and smiled back at Jou.
"It was then I joined the picture! I came to save you Jou-nii! Seto smiled at me in relief and hurried me to you- and I rubbed your back like I knew why you were hurting. Then suddenly in a flash of white light- little feathers grew out of your back, white and lined with gold- growing like a firm tree and in a matter of minutes you had these big, beautiful wings!"
"Wow- that's amazing." Jou whispered back.
"And you hugged me and I grew my own wings! But they weren't prettier than yours. You hugged Seto-"
"Okay kiddo- I don't hug Seto, ever."
Mokuba giggled and leaned in closer to the blond, whispering in his left ear.
"Then Seto-nii kissed you and my dream ended."
The blond gaped and flushed red, holding in the irritation in front of Mokuba, and trying to laugh away the embarrassment. The boy giggled more at the sight and hugged the blond lightly.
"See- I didn't tell anyone else because it would be rude to pry on your love life!"
"What love life!?"
Mokuba laughed in a musical tone, grabbing both Seto's and the woman's attention for a smile for themselves.
After some more reassuring conversations with Mokuba, Jou made sure to steal both chocolate and strawberry inspired cakes for later tonight. He hugged the boy carefully and got ready to leave when the woman tapped on his shoulder lightly.
"I'm Ishizu," Her over-used smile was never failing, always genuine and beautiful. "I'm Malik's sister."
Jou nodded and took a second to what she meant by Malik's sister-
"Oh crap! Oh god- the whole misunderstanding-"
She smiled gently and held Jou's hand firmly.
"We all laughed about it, don't worry. Please take care of Seto- and make sure he's tied onto the bed."
Jou nodded his head and carefully replied a 'yes ma'am!'
The two left the hospital and with another quiet ride to their house.
When they arrived, Jou gently pushed the brunet into his room just to keep his promise with Ishizu.
"What the hell are you doing mutt?"
"Making sure you get some rest. I'm sorry things got out of hand but its better now, so please," Jou's eyes were sincere and dear. "Get some sleep."
"You're the reason we're here to begin with." Seto suddenly hissed.
"Me? I am?"
"Tell me- what happened with Otogi?"
The blond suddenly blushed at the sudden accusation.
And the brunet clicked the door behind him, leaving Jou alone in the hallway. Jou figured he needed the rest.
There was a direct impact on Jou's face and he woke up abruptly in sudden pain. He screamed as his upper body flung to sit up- facing a pair of evil eyes at the end of the bed.
"Wake up mutt."
The blond gave a frustrated grunt, loud enough to piss off the already agitated brunet.
"I'll give you ten minutes to get ready."
"What the hell did you throw at me? A book?"
"A pillow you idiot. Nine minutes and fifty seconds."
The blond cursed and got out of the bed, trudging his way into the bathroom.
"What time is it right now?"
"Four p.m.. Nine minutes and twenty five counting."
Jou slammed the bathroom door shut and Seto walked out with a smirk on his face.
The blond ran out of the house to see Seto in his convertible, casual and waiting. He gave a short sigh of relief and walked over to the car- suddenly then noticing Seto insert the keys into the ignition, changing the gear to start driving.
"You damn prick-" The blond ran off the jumped into the car while the car was moving, but made it anyways.
The brunet chuckled and drove indifferently.
"Why are you so tired, mutt? I can't have a host looking like shit- it simply ruins the reputation."
"It's my second hangover."
"You drank? With Otogi?"
The blond nodded as the yawned, but the car gave a different move- scratching its tires on the concrete and parking abruptly against the sidewalk.
"What the hell was that?" Jou cursed, looking at the brunet in sudden …anger.
"What did he do to you? You liked it, didn't you- seeing you so apathetic now, you like being a little whore."
"What the hell are you talking about Seto? Like what? Whore?"
"Otogi! He must've done something to you when you were drunk! Do you not remember? You care too much for others and you don't give shit to yourself- Why are you so fucking-"
"Seto Kaiba, Otogi kissed me- He was a total mess and he started to weep. If you were calling me a whore- you're mistaken and terribly wrong. Must be new to you, huh? Since you're always fucking right, you're never wrong- but I'm different, Seto. I'm never going to be something you can calculate and expect- so stop assuming shit out of me! I know control, I know pain, and I know everything you're going through so just stop!"
Strangers walking on the pavement began staring as they passed by. The faces of two gorgeous men in baffling dispute were an interesting sight to see. Wordlessly Seto drove again, taking the car to a familiar route Jou knew.
"Welcome- Ah, Seto-kun! Jou-kun, welcome back!"
Ryou greeted them happily, but by their atmosphere things weren't as happy as everyone wished it to be. The brunet walked off to the kitchen and Jou walked off to obtain his uniform, carefully placing the apron and walking over to Yugi for orders.
"Table five should be ready and check if Table four needs some refills. Kiwi smoothie, I believe."
The blond nodded and smiled, but Yugi gave a sad look in response.
"Is everything alright, Jou-kun?"
"We'll talk in a bit, Yugi. I'm starving."
Yugi nodded and promised to set a meal for him once the customers relaxed.
"Oi, start the key lime filling. Make plenty for the meringue too."
The brunet grunted in response and began slicing limes from the fridge.
A blond entered and coldly walked over to the corner, opening the fridge for some kiwis, apple juice, and ice.
"Hey pup." Bakura commented and Jou smiled back.
"You came with Seto?"
Abruptly the blender turned on and cut off Bakura's speech.
"Blondie? Did something happen between you-"
The blender turned on almost instantly, cutting off Bakura's speech again.
After five more trials, Bakura was left unanswered and Jou walked out of the kitchen with the same smile and a kiwi smoothie.
"What the hell was that for?"
Bakura questioned Seto who then started to whisk the filling loudly.
Ryou entered the kitchen for an order but Bakura held him firmly in his arms and whispered into Ryou's ear.
"I think the couple fought."
"Yes, they weren't too friendly when they entered," Ryou whispered back, sighing in gloom. "But Yugi tells me Jou's starving so will you make a meal for Jou and Seto? So they can have a meal together?"
Bakura nodded and Ryou kissed him on the cheek.
"A slice of Mille-feuille, Seto-kun," Ryou called out and Seto nodded, cutting a professional slice with his knife. He handed it to Ryou and Ryou smiled as he took the pastry. "I didn't even know they were back on the menu. Save me a slice for later."
Seto chuckled and watched as Ryou walked off with the delicate cake.
"Ah- I wish I had a beautiful lover like Ryou." Bakura teased.
"Shut up and get to work. If the top isn't golden I'll make you wear Ryou's costume tonight."
"But I can't let my fans down and dress like a girl, chef."
"Malik wouldn't mind."
"I seriously have to give that guy a boyfriend."
Seto chuckled at Bakura's words; he was always too humorous to keep Seto in a bad mood.
"Speaking of which, what are they wearing tonight?"
"I don't think we decided yet."
Just then Jou and Yami entered the kitchen as they chuckled.
"Yami, is the picture on the menu a petit four?"
"Yes it is. The one with the chocolate covered strawberry?"
"Yes- Bakura- do we still have one of that?"
"We have three left."
"Perfect. One for Table seven please."
Seto remained silent as he filled the crust with his key lime filling, placing the pie into the preheated oven.
"Yami, what are you dressing the boys as tonight?" Bakura asked as he placed the cake onto Jou's tray.
Yami shrugged and brushed his hair back.
"I completely forgot."
"Some manager." Seto commented and Yami chuckled.
The four men remained silent- until Jou tapped the counter impatiently.
"I know- I know! Mokuba had a dream that I- er, Mokuba was an angel!"
Bakura raised his eyebrow and in the corner of Jou's eyes he saw Seto's eyebrow rise identically.
"But it wasn't a b-bad dream you guys, like he was healing me, so don't-"
"No, stupid, that's a great idea," Yami chuckled. "I'll be back with new costumes." And the three watched the manager leave, followed by the blond to get the order fulfilled.
The customers finally shrank in number and just in time, Bakura's meal was ready for Seto and Jou to eat. Carefully the co-workers placed the two in a table and served the food. Jou, being the ravished and blinded for food was an unexpected help. Seto scoffed as he took his seat in front of the blond that already started to feast on the traditional steak and fries.
"Have some manners, mutt." Seto finally spoke as he stared at the blond in amusement.
"What?" Jou gulped his raspberry iced tea. "What?"
Seto rolled brilliant blue eyes, leaned in closer and with his lean finger he lightly brushed the corner of Jou's lips. He casually took the finger and sucked on the sauce.
"Bakura's getting better. He'll soon surpass me." Seto commented and took his knife and fork after.
Jou blushed- the sudden touch was awkward but being the arrogant prick Seto was, it was romantically romantic. He sighed and began to eat the food slowly, making sure that no sauce gets on his mouth again.
"The taste that you make is too different with Bakura's to compare."
"Oh? What do they taste like?" Seto indifferently spoke, noticing the awkward stares both Ryou and Yugi gave as encouragement.
"Yours always taste more …sweet. Bakura's more the pungent- full of flavor type."
Seto chuckled in response.
"So different from your character, eh Seto?" Jou teased lifting his eyebrow.
"I apologize- I shouldn't have said the things I did, even the night before. It's like what you said- you're too different. You bewilder me, lose me in a completely new dimension I've never been in before. I guess you caught me when I was perfectly vulnerable and caught me when I was pathetically saving myself."
"Look," Jou took his fork down for the first time. "We're all vulnerable, Seto. That's why you have Mokuba, Yami, Bakura, Yugi, Ryou- even," Seto's eyes looked toward Jou's in question. "Even me."
Seto gave a low, hearty laugh.
It wasn't because Jou's speech was …ridiculous, ludicrous, or any way addicting. He just thought Jou was maybe for the first time, lovable.
"You're cute, mutt, real cute."
Ryou and Yugi glanced over and even Bakura came out from the kitchen to see.
"Shut up." Jou blushed at the 'sarcastic' comment.
Yami then entered and held up the large bags that were in his hands.
"I have two types- 'Angel Love' or 'Naughty Demon'."
"What the hell?" Jou barked and the last few customers began to leave. Seto hit his forehead and sighed as Yugi hurriedly ran to the cashier to excuse the customers and Yami smiled at the mothers leaving the café. With no customers around Yami placed the heavy bags onto one of the tables and chuckled.
"That's what it says on the tags- now let's play a game to see who's an angel," Bakura chuckled as he reached over to Ryou. "Or a demon."
Author's Note: Ten pages. Ten pages! Love me? Haha I want a nice, long review if you liked the chapter and appreciate the author!
Anyways, I hope the first part explained how Seto became a host and his relationship with Otogi. He obviously knows how Otogi gets when he drinks but let me assure you- they weren't too heavily physical as Otogi hints them to be. Otogi still has feelings for Seto and he also notices the possible 'chance' of Jou and Seto so he decides to do- what he did, but breaks down at his self pity. Ishizu is great- I have her in Devotion so I said, what-the-heck, throw her in here cause she would definitely help Seto evolve into a romantist(?)
Rane (aka NightlyHalo): It's called Romantic :3
Oh. Yes. I meant Romantic. Thanks Beta. haha
Seto and Jou felt a bit out of character, I hope I didn't ride too much on that- but I wanted them to fight all the time, yet love all the time. They're moving quite slowly but its coming- don't worry- they'll get together in the end. Haha. The whole 'ridiculous, ludicrous, addicting' motif is from the first part and that was important to throw it back in there because it heightens the contrast of Seto's feelings for Otogi- then with Jounouchi. He obviously would love the puppy more- in ways they connect, in ways they are the complete opposite of each other.
I need ideas for the angel vs. demon game, I have no idea why I threw Bakura to say that. Haha.
Well, hope you enjoyed and I'll be back soon, beloveds!
Rane: You guys better enjoy this! It really was 10 pages, xD She's not lying…..If you didn't understand this chapter much I'd recommend reading the last chapter to refresh your memory. :D