Pizzas, Lateness and Anniversaries

Warnings/notes: Kaiba/Joey (established), sap, ooc.

Disclaimer: I don't own YuGiOh.

written at 4th june 2007, by Misura

"Did you know the pizza-guy refuses to deliver here anymore because some of your goons insisted on searching him for hidden weapons?" Joey demanded. He was pissed off - mostly at Kaiba's goons and the unfairness of the world in general, but Kaiba presented a nice target, especially with that smug smile of his that told Joey that yes, Kaiba'd noticed Joey was late. Besides, if you looked at it in a certain way, it was Kaiba's fault. He employed the goons, after all.

"They're bodyguards," Kaiba said, somehow managing to look as if Joey was interrupting something important, which was just plain ridiculous, since one of the first rules Joey had imposed when he'd moved into the Kaiba mansion was that there'd be no working in the dinner-room, the living-room or the bed-room. (It was pretty much the only rule Kaiba didn't break on a daily basis, too.) "They were simply doing their job."

"It was a pizza-delivery guy." Everybody knew only the good guys ever pretended to be delivering a pizza - and they were never carrying any pizzas when they did it either. Bad guys disguised themselves as door-to-door salesmen, or long-lost relatives who'd been presumed dead.

"Which made him highly suspicious, since I've never ordered a pizza in my life."

"You - " Joey was at a loss for words. He'd come to terms with the workaholicism - or whatever people called it when you had to throw three laptops out of the window before your boyfriend got the point that you'd been serious when you told him you'd throw his laptop out of the window if he dared to bring it into the bedroom with him 'just to go over some reports before going to sleep'.

The 'look at me, I'm the bestest, smartest person in the whole world, fear my trenchcoat' thing had taken some more time, but knowing that Yugi or Yami would come over and kick Kaiba's ass for him if Joey simply said the word had helped - even if Joey himself was still working on a way to get around those pesky Blue Eyes, he knew Kaiba's act of superiority was simply that: an act.

Kaiba still surprised him far more often than Joey liked though, and only occasionally in a good way. When it came down to it, Kaiba was simply weird.

"You're just weird, you know that?" Okay, so maybe there were lots of people who'd never seen a single episode of 'The Masked Avenger' in their lives (Anzu, for example) but ... never having ordered a pizza? Why? It wasn't as if Kaiba was poor or anything.

"So you keep telling me." Kaiba seemed slightly amused. Joey realized that somehow, they'd moved away from Joey being pissed off at Kaiba for letting his goons scare away the pizza-guy and onto Kaiba's favorite topic of conversation, namely himself. Although to give Kaiba some credit, Kaiba seemed to enjoy talking about himself mostly because they generally ended in arguments, which in turn led to them going to bed early - possibly an indication that Kaiba wasn't the only one who was 'just weird'.

"It's true." Joey shrugged and made a show of looking around the room. Two chairs, check. One table, check. Fancy plates, check. Kaiba actually being home before six and waiting for him, check. "Where's Mokuba?" It couldn't be that something'd happened to the kid - Kaiba wouldn't be sitting here otherwise. He'd be with Mokuba, and if Joey'd been lucky, Kaiba might have remembered to call or leave him a note.

"Sleeping over at a friend's." Kaiba frowned slightly. Joey deduced that the friend in question was probably someone Joey knew better than Kaiba - Yugi, most likely. Short people of the world, unite. Mokuba'd grown a bit over the years, but not a lot.

"Oh." Joey cast about for something else to say.

"You're late." And there it was at last, the one topic Joey'd hoped to avoid.

"Well ... your goons insisted on searching me before they let me in?" Joey tried without much hope or conviction. Kaiba was an excellent liar, especially when it came to making excuses for not keeping his promises or appointments. Joey ... wasn't. He simply hadn't had as much practice at it.

"One, they're bodyguards. Two, they know who you are."

Joey wondered how Kaiba'd gone about making sure of that - he certainly hadn't introduced Joey to any of the guys in suits with sunglasses who all looked the same. Maybe he'd sent out a memo. 'To all personnel, the person on the picture is Joey Wheeler, a moron whom I like to insult, might possibly but not likely be in love with, and will sleep with when the mood strikes me and I'm actually home in time to sweet-talk him before he goes off to bed. Please treat him as if he wasn't there, and don't tell him anything about my working schedule or present, past and future locations, should he ask about them.'

"Three, the security-system logged you entering at twelve minutes past six," Kaiba continued.

Joey groaned. "I just can't win, can I?"

"Being in time is not a matter of winning or losing," Kaiba replied. "Punctuality isn't a game."

"If it was, you'd suck at it," Joey grumbled, saying the first thing that came to mind and only taking the time to think about it later. When he did though, he decided it had actually been a pretty good come-back. "I'm late just one time, and you're acting like it's a big deal, but you're late every day, and do I ever give you a hard time about it?"

"Fairly often, yes," Kaiba said, a little stiffly. "But that's different."

"Because it's you, and you're allowed to be late?" Joey snapped. "Is that how you think it works? Well, I've got news for you, it doesn't. Okay, so I'm late today, and I'm sorry - "

"And I accept your most humble and sincerely meant apology," Kaiba interrupted him.

"And will you shut up about it now?" Joey inquired warily, with the uncomfortable feeling that once again, Kaiba'd managed to side-step the real issue here, which wasn't that Joey'd been late today, but that Kaiba'd been late just about every night during the past six months.

"I've pointed out your tardiness, you've apologized. I don't see what else there is to the subject."

One of these days, Joey was going to try and teach Kaiba how to talk like a normal person, instead of someone who ran a multi-billion corporation for a living. (Of course, Kaiba was someone who ran a multi-billion corporation - although he did it as much for kicks as he did it for a living, Joey suspected.)

"How about your tardiness?" Unless, naturally, Kaiba's tendency to use long words got to Joey first.

"I have responsibilities," Kaiba said. "I don't expect you to understand."

"Try me," Joey challenged. "Next week, whenever you're late, I want a good explanation. One that actually makes sense, not one of those vague-sounding ones you usually give me."

"I suppose that means I'll have to use small words." Kaiba looked pensive.

"And no using your body to distract me either," Joey warned him.

Kaiba smirked. "It's hardly my fault you're so easily distracted. I assure you I don't do it on purpose."

Yeah, and Joey'd believe that on the day he spotted a flight of pigs. Not that he was complaining too much - Kaiba trying to distract him was a nice change from Kaiba demanding him to pay attention (although that could be quite enjoyable, too, at times) - but it was the principle of the thing. Perhaps this whole thing he and Kaiba had going on wasn't a game, only that didn't mean there weren't any rules, or that it was okay to cheat. It just meant there wouldn't be a winner and a loser at the end of it.

"If you're late and I don't hear a good reason for it, I win ... something." Joey frowned. He supposed he could ask for something romantic - like a kiss or a date - but the truth was that Kaiba would probably give those to him anyway, if he asked for them. And dates were a pain anyway; Kaiba wasn't only famous, he also refused to lower himself to wearing some sort of disguise. Being surrounded by bodyguards, journalists and shrieking fangirls rather took the fun out of the whole dating thing.

"What kind of ... something would that be?" Kaiba's eyes were gleaming. Obviously, someone wasn't at all averse to turning this whole lateness-thing into some sort of game - which was Kaiba's mistake, since Joey was pretty sure there was no way Kaiba'd be able to win.

"You get your goons to apologize to the pizza-guy, and to let him pass next time," Joey said, inspiration finally having struck. It wasn't exactly anything huge or impressive, but it was something, and not something Joey'd normally get. Kaiba wasn't big on apologies - he prefered making up reasons why he didn't owe them, since whatever had happened hadn't been his fault.

"Fine." Clearly, Kaiba'd been expecting him to ask for something different, something Kaiba'd be far less willing to give. Kaiba almost seemed a little disappointed, in fact, although Joey figured that most of the time, Kaiba was already content with the simple knowledge that he'd won. True, in most Duel Monsters-tournaments, there was a considerable amount of money on the line, but it wasn't as if Kaiba needed any more money, or had ever seemed to particularly care about that part.

"What about you?" Joey asked. "I mean, not that it's important, but ... "

"I'll let you know once I've won," Kaiba said.

Joey narrowed his eyes and decided he didn't like that. Sure, he was positive he'd win, and this was simply Kaiba trying to play mind-games with him, but ... it still worked. Although, now that Joey thought about it, there really wasn't much Kaiba could accomplish by making Joey a little wary. This wasn't some sort of strategic card-game where Joey'd need to focus on what was going on.

"Fine," he echoed Kaiba.

"Oh, and happy anniversary." Kaiba smiled. "Mokuba made me promise to take a week off work to celebrate. I think he's beginning to like you."

"Ha!" Joey grinned, then frowned. "Wait. So you're not actually going to go to work next week?"