Me Plus You
Joey didn't know what to do. Even his spontaneity had failed him. He had tried and tried to show the love of his life that he loved him, that he cared, but damn it, the man was either ignorant or just didn't understand feelings! …Actually, considering it was him, he probably just didn't understand.
Ha! So the bastard wasn't good at everything!
…But that didn't help him. Seto didn't trust him with his heart yet, because he was still so withdrawn, and he still thought of their relationship in business terms. They were just two people investing time with each other, according to him.
Joey narrowed his eyes. This had to be stopped. He stood from the couch and turned to go to the door, then sighed and fell back onto the cushions, groaning. "What am I supposed to do…? It's not like I can just go up to him and say 'damn it, Seto Kaiba, just stop being a coward and love me!'" He narrowed his eyes. "I need to do this in a way he'll understand." He paused again. "…And I need to finish my homework."
He sighed and sat up straight, reaching over for his math book. He wondered vaguely if Seto would help him study for the test on Friday, when suddenly, it hit him.
Seto understood academics. Especially math. Because he was in business and needed to understand numbers.
"Eureka!" the blond exclaimed, standing up and punching the air above him. He paused for a moment, then sighed and fell back onto the couch. "I suck at math."
Seto raised an eyebrow at the envelope being held out to him, then lifted his gaze to the blond's and frowned. "What's this, puppy?"
"Take it, solve it, and come tell me what the answer is," Joey replied, waving the envelope at him. "Come on, take it. I've gotta go to work."
"I thought we discussed this, puppy. I'll help you with your homework, but I won't do it for you. You won't learn that way," the brunet sighed, still not reaching for it even though he could tell Joey was ready to snap; he could be late for anything else, but if he was late for work, he'd throttle the reason then stab it and leave it in a dumpster.
The blond sighed loudly and just threw the envelope onto the CEO's desk. "It's not homework, stupid; I know you won't do it for me. But that's an important equation, so you better figure it out, or else you're going to be very unhappy." He paused, then let out a forlorn sigh and turned to leave. "Or you could be elated. I don't know how you feel."
Seto frowned and watched him storm out of the office, then reached out for the envelope and opened it, pulling out what looked like a math worksheet. It was typed, so obviously, if Joey had made it, he really cared about the outcome; he sucked at typing and avoided having to do so as much as possible. Well, unless it was to look up some porn on the internet, but he hadn't been doing that much lately. He'd been looking at sites for different teen safe houses.
As he read the directions, he found himself stunned.
Directions: Solve the following equations. If the final answer does not equal the answer provided, break off whatever relationship you have with Joey Wheeler.
A equals Seto B equals Joey C equals Us D equals Seto's feelings E equals Sad Joey
A plus B equals C C minus D equals E C minus B equals D
Provided Answer: D equals pain
If D does not equal pain, D never cared about C. If D does not equal pain, put the following equation to action.
C minus A equals E
What he realized next nearly tore his heart in half.
Joey didn't think he cared.
Joey turned to carry a box toward the back of the store only to squeak in distress as he found Seto standing in his way. "Oh my God! …Don't do that!" he exclaimed, scowling at him. "You scared me half to death!"
"I solved your math problem," the brunet stated, ignoring his boyfriend's agitation.
"…Oh." The blond looked down at the box still in his arms. "…So? Did your answer match the one given?"
Seto shook his head. "No."
"…Oh," the smaller teen repeated softly. "I see."
"It didn't match because the provided answer was wrong."
Joey looked up at him quickly, frowning, and tilted his head innocently. "Oh yeah? So what's the real answer then?" The brunet reached out and took the box from his boyfriend's arms, placing it on the counter beside them, then pulled the smaller teen into his arms. The blond let out a squawk. "Seto! I'm working! I can't—"
"I wouldn't be in pain if we broke up," the CEO continued, as if not hearing him. "I'd be crushed. But it wouldn't last long. I'd bury myself in my work and avoid the problem. …I'd probably go into denial, too. I'd convince myself that eventually you'd storm into my office demanding I pay attention to you and Mokuba if I worked long enough. I'd convince myself that you're just mad at me again and would be back in a few days, forcing me to buy you coffee to make it up to you."
"…Seto… Let go…" Joey patted his shoulder softly. "We'll talk later, okay? When I get off?"
"You won't come back to me. You'll go to one of those safe houses you've been researching. I don't want you to go. If I let you go, you'll never come back."
"…Seto, I was researching safe houses so I could escape my dad, not so I could escape you," Joey sighed, leaning back slightly. "I'm tired of being beaten for things I didn't do. I just want—Ah! Hey, lemme go! You're gonna break my spine!" He winced slightly as the brunet's grip tightened and hid his face in the taller teen's chest so he couldn't see the tears of pain forming in his eyes. "Seto, please…"
Seto growled softly. "My puppy. No one hurts my puppy."
"Seto, you're hurting meee!" the blond whined, pounding on his shoulders weakly. "And you're gonna get me in trouble with my booooss!"
"I'll take you. You don't need to go to a safe house. I don't want you hurting anymore."
"You're hurting me now, stupid!" Joey pushed him away gently but firmly. "Jeez, you've got a grip like a python." He sighed, then leaned forward and nuzzled the brunet's throat lovingly. "I don't want to put you out, Seto. A safe house will be fine. Okay?"
Seto threw his arms up in frustration. "Have you not seen the mansion I live in?! You couldn't put me out if you made it a hotel for all of my fangirls all over the world! I'd still have rooms empty that I could hide in! And you know those fangirls, Joey. They can sense fear."
The blond blinked at him for a moment, stunned, then began to laugh and hugged him around the waist. "Oh, Seto, sometimes you're just too cute."
"I am not."
"Um, Joey, if you're finished talking to your boyfriend, could you get back to work," his manager sighed, shaking his head. "Sweet as this was, you're still on duty."
"Oh! Sorry!" the blond exclaimed, pulling away from his boyfriend, only to yelp as he found himself thrown over said boyfriend's shoulder. "Ack! Seto, what the hell?!"
"I'm stealing this," Seto informed the manager, and set a stack of bills on the counter. "This should take care of any of your losses."
"Uh-! …Okay," the manager whispered, watching as his coworker was carried out kicking and screaming.
"Put me down you jerk you can't keep doing this to me I need this job aaaaahhhhhh!"
Seto merely shrugged. "We're getting your things from your apartment so you can move in with me."
"You could have waited until I was off!" Joey exclaimed angrily, pounding on his back. "Put me down!"
"…No," he replied, rolling his eyes. "I paid for you, puppy. You're mine for the day."
"Jerk! I like my job! I can't depend on you for everything!"
"…I would prefer it if you did."