Woooow! It's been too long since I've updated this story! Sorry guise, excuses are fail, I realize. But I really do like this chapter. And, again, lemme stress that Dorie is in no way blood-related to the Kaibas, nor will she ever be. She's no long-lost sister. Although, if she was it wouldn't be too big of a stretch. I mean, everyone in the YGO universe is somehow connected, right? So if I ever did decide to, say, make Amelia Seto's long lost sister, I could do it. Probably.

But that would just be cracktastic. And, however much I love cracktastic things, I'd rather somehow have Judai be Yuugi's third cousin than Amelia be Seto's sister. Because he's really a boy. And that'd just be awkward. Like Sonny and Cher's daughter--I mean son. Erm, yeah.

So here's a question: If any YGO character could opt for a sex change, which would it be, you think?

And while you ponder, I shall enjoy my boy/boy love.

Enjoy!


Chapter Three
And Watch How You Play

The mansion, for what it was worth, was as big as Domino High and the local mall combined. Jou had never seen anything more obtusely expensive in all his life his life. He didn't understand it—at all. The foyer itself was padded with lush beige carpet, golden-chromed wallpaper, and an antique mahogany end-table with a precious Persian-printed lamp and a crystalline vase with fresh daisies in it. There were knickknacks in the house just to be knickknacks—they didn't hold a purpose, or a special meaning. They were just there to take up space, and be admired—from the white-tiger rug in the living room to the antique clock in the hallway, to the diamond chandelier above the cherry-wood dining table, to the pristine kitchen with too much food stocked in the pantry.

"Holy shit," Jou gasped when he found the motherlode of food in the Kaibas' pantry. "You got enough to feed an army!"

"Unless you're in the army, Jou," Shizuka teased, slinging her arms around her brother's neck and looking at the ten-foot-high pantry, and the seven shelves it encompassed.

Jou picked out a can of pinto beans and made a face. "I definitely wouldn't eat that."

"That aside," she snatched it out of his hand and replaced it back into the pantry, "you'd eat the Kaibas' out of house and home! C'mon, it's rude to drool before dinner's even started." And she took his hand and dragged him out of the kitchen.

Mokuba gave them the grand tour. Jou counted the bedrooms (14), the portraits (127), the studies (3 – not including Seto's secret basement one), the bathrooms (17), and the closets (39 ½). He even began counting the number of maids who scuttled through the halls at any given moment, but he soon lost count, and lost interest. Instead, he began to count the number of times Seto excused himself to go take care of some other business.

On the third excuse, Mokuba whined, "Can't business wait a little bit?"

"Not today," was his brother's stark reply before disappearing around a tight corridor. Jou craned his head to follow, but lost him as quickly as he had left. He frowned and scratched his head.

There must have been secret doors. He was sure of it.

Mokuba gave a disheartened sigh and showed them the third and last floor. "No one comes up here," he told them sullenly. "No one but the maids, anyway."

"Why?" Shizuka asked, thinking what a shame it was to leave a perfectly beautiful floor untouched or unadventured.

"'Cause Seto and me used to live on the third floor of the orphanage. We don't like third floors anymore."

"That'd explain why the finances are on the third floor of Kaiba Corp.," she muttered, and tapped the tip of her fingernail on her lip. "So… you two have this big old mansion all to yourselves?"

Mokuba nodded. "It's fun to play hide and seek in."

That caught Jou's ADD attention span might quickly. It also helped that his mind was already halfway into the gutter from the portrait of a nude Victorian model he had been admiring seconds before, and twitched his eyebrow. Fun…to play hide and seek in?

"There's lots of rooms," Mokuba went on, oblivious to the blonde's sudden gutterball mind and agitated eyebrow, "so it's easy to stay in one for hours without being found out."

Without being found out…

"Gosh, I haven't played it in a long time though," the boy lamented tragically, putting his hands behind his head, and Jou watched as compassion filled his sister's eyes like fresh honey.

Oh hell no, he ground his teeth. Don't you dare.

Mokuba topped his dramatic lament with a home run. "Becaue Seto works so much, I don't really have much time to play with him. Unless it's Dorie…but she's different. She tries to fill his shoes, but it's not really the same."

Jou saw it coming. Oh, did he see it coming! He saw the words out of Shizuka's mouth before she even opened those pretty little pink lips. The worst part was that he couldn't stop her in time. In fact, he tried—he even made a little lurch as if to pounce Mokuba for even playing that card on his poor innocent sister—but he stopped himself at last minute. He pulled his own reigns and bit his tongue.

At the time, he wasn't quite sure why.

"Then we'll make him play with you!" proclaimed the honey-haired Shizuka, thrusting her fist into the air. "I won't stand for this listless brotherly love! Kaiba-san has time now, doesn't he?"

Mokuba tried to interject, "But—"

She, however, wouldn't have any of it.

That's my sister, Jou thought tragically.

"He has lots of time right now! Let's go find him and re-spark this brotherly love!" With a sheer steel determination, she spun right around and backtracked herself down the hallway. Her destination: Seto Kaiba's home office.

"But Shizuka-kun!" the boy fumbled, failing after her. "He'll kill me!"

Not if I kill you first. Jou rolled up the sleeves on his red turtleneck above the elbow, and followed the younger Kaiba and his sister down three flights of stairs, through twisting, stark hallways, and to a large brass-knockered door that seethed 'KEEP OUT'. Oh, I will kill you so hard, Mokuba Kaiba.


Jou never got the chance to kill Mokuba Kaiba. For, the moment he entered Seto Kaiba's private study, Seto was out for Mokuba Kaiba's blood instead.

"What are they doing in here?" the cold brunette asked, obviously not wanting guests. The light from his LCD 32" computer screen reflected light on the right side of his face, casting shadows across the other. His hands still rested on the keyboards—he had been in mid-work.

And no one interrupts Seto Kaiba.

Mokuba gulped. "You see…" he wavered. "Shizuka-kun…"

"We're here to have fun!" the honey-haired young woman proclaimed, shoving in front of Mokuba with a fist raised in triumph. She had a mischievous gleam in her eyes as she addressed her boss very unprofessionally.

Obviously, Shizuka knew nothing of keeping her job. Either that, or she didn't quite care. Or maybe she had weighed her options, and she knew exactly how far she could press her luck against the infamous teenaged CEO.

"Fun?" Seto deadpanned.

"Yes! We're going to play hide and seek!"

His eyebrow twitched.

On the computer screen, the program started to tweak in motion. Jou, who had calmly and quietly snuck into the study after his younger accomplices, trained his eyes on the computer screen. He blinked in surprise.

What the…

It was some sort of system vitality of a humanoid thing. A hologram, maybe? A new project? Robot? Gundam?

He furrowed his eyebrows.

"Katsuya," Seto snapped, using his quick reflexes to turn off the computer monitor and stand at the same time, "control your sister."

Oh, Jou blinked, surprised, at his rival. He suddenly understood a bit more than he needed to. Or wanted to. Most every notion of a cold-hearted Seto Kaiba dulled, but then again another notion took its place. Fucking work-a-holic. Hell if I'll help him.

"Eh?" Jou poked his pinky in his ear and rubbed it. "I can't hear you."

"Control you sister, mutt."

"Ah, see, there might be a slight problem there, Kaiba-boy," he mocked. "I ain't going to control no one. Nope. She's your guest."

Seto gave him an eat-shit look.

In return, Jou shrugged it off airily.

"Pleeeeaaaasssee?" Mokuba whined. "Pleeaaase Seto?!"

There was no way in hell Seto would demote himself to playing hide and seek—there was no reason to. He hadn't played the game since the orphanage, and to think that he'd play it again was a naïve misconception. He had work to do, and people to boss, and employees to pay. He didn't have time to run around like a chicken with his head cut off for the sake of some childish game. So, he reached for the phone sitting in the corner of his desk, and pressed one.

He put the receiver to his ear. "I'll call Dorie up here to play with y—"

To his surprise, the blonde-headed idiot pressed endcall button, and kept his fingers on the TouchTone buttons. Ice blue eyes hit hard against hard brown, and neither of them budged.

"Katsuya," Seto said through grit teeth, trying to be patient.

"Do it yourself for once, Kaiba," Jou replied. "You're not one for half-assing a job, right? Why's this any different?"

Mokuba rushed around the desk, fell to his knees with his hands clasped together in begging, and begged, "Plllleeeaaaaassse Seto?!"

"Then you can get back to work!" Shizuka chirped happily. "I have the files and everything!"

A stalemate, Seto realized as he shifted his eyes through all the guests. Was this his punishment for skimping on the Christmas bonus this year? Funds had been tight—he had a bonified explanation for the 25% Off Turkey coupon he mailed out instead. It must have been karma—it had to have been.

Then again, he didn't believe in karma.

He also didn't believe in kismet.

And maybe, if he had, he would have seen further events coming at him like a freight train as he shouldered past Jounouchi to shrug off his business coat. He would have seen the brick wall flying in his direction if he had just looked, but he was too busy leering at the blonde mutt to notice it in his peripheral. If he had, he might have played a bit nicer.

As it stood, however, Seto Kaiba didn't believe in karma, kismet, or stupid people.

All three of which were about to give him a rude awakening.

"Fine," Seto snapped to his brother, "but for an hour only. I'm counting. Now go hide."

Too shocked to move, all Mokuba could accomplish was a gaping stare.

"Well?" his brother rumbled.

Then a smile blossomed upon the young boy's lips. He stood with lightning speed, and darted out the door. "No one follow me! Seto, you'll never find me!" his voice echoed as he flashed down the hallway.

It only took half an icy glare to get Shizuka and Jou out of his study, running for a hiding spot. Only then did he turn his back to the door, lean against the burgundy wall with his head leaned up against his arm, and began counting.



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