Fuzz Ball

Seto's eyes narrowed. He had no idea how he'd come to be in this situation, but he knew it must have had something to do with an ancient Egyptian being. If he had to stake his life on it, he decided it was a tie between Bakura and Marik. Yami wouldn't do something as mean as this, and he definitely wouldn't do anything that would upset his 'aibou.' Since Yugi was so tenderhearted, he wouldn't have condoned this. Now that he thought about it, it was probably the combined plan of Marik and Bakura.

Evil beings.

Now he just had to figure out how to get out of this predicament. Having no thumbs made typing programs extremely hard. …The fact that he was now smaller than his keyboard not withstanding, of course.

He didn't know where to go, though. How could anyone help him get back to his original form unless they were the men that had gotten him into this position? …Well, Yami would help him. But how could he get to the Turtle Game Shop this way? On top of that, how was he going to get into the Turtle Game Shop?

His heart jumped with hope (and surprise) as he heard a high-pitched squeal. He'd know that squeal anywhere. Turning sharply, he smiled in relief (it hurt his soul to say that) as he found exactly what he was expecting. …Or, well, sort of.

He'd been expecting Téa to be swooning over a cute shirt or something. He had not been expecting a red-faced, angry banshee chasing around a quickly apologizing and blushing blond puppy.

But it was just the people he was looking for, so he began his way toward them.

He paused underneath the table and tilted his head, frowning at the words he was hearing. This… was saddening to say the least.

"You'd think he'd just let someone else get his drink for him, wouldn't you?" That was Duke. He wrinkled his nose in disgust.

"He's always spilling his drink on someone." That was a sigh from Yami.

"Perhaps he's just a glutton for pain?" Ryou Bakura, for sure.

"No, I don't think—Oh! That had to hurt!" Ah, Yugi.

"His grandkids are gonna be feeling that one." Tristan.

Wait, were they still talking about Joey?

Seto frowned and looked out at where he'd seen Téa last chasing the mutt. Except, Téa was walking away from him now. …And Joey was on the ground, bent over in pain. The single tear running down his cheek as he squeezed his eyes shut was the only testament to just how much pain he was really in. There was a pause as he took a few deep breaths before he let out a final sigh and stood shakily, making his way back to the table to sit down beside his best friend again.

Well, he could pity the blond later. Right now he needed help.

He walked over to Yami and, grinning, he reared back and clutched at the former pharaoh's pants. Then, he dragged his claws downward, as this would probably be the only occasion when he could get away with causing the man pain.

-x-x-x-

Joey raised an eyebrow as Yami suddenly shot to his feet, shrieking. Hell, he'd just done the exact opposite; he'd crumpled into the smallest position and stayed silent. He frowned in confusion as the pharaoh began shaking his leg, cursing in his native tongue, before he leaned back to look around Yugi at the man's leg.

He rolled his eyes and grabbed the scruff of the kitten's neck. The kitten mewed angrily (and in pain) before it released its captor and curled up into fetal position. He dropped the cat in front of Yugi and gave it a pat on the head. "Enjoy."

Yugi blinked at the brown kitten in confusion. Its blue eyes were eerily familiar. In fact, if he knew it wasn't completely out of the question, he would have said this was the feline version of Seto Kaiba. But that was preposterous.

Yami pointed at the small cat and snarled. "Demon!"

"Yami, it's just a cat," Yugi sighed, rolling his eyes at his other half.

"It is obviously out to get me!" The pharaoh scowled and leaned down to glare personally at the cat. "It's got to be the physical incarnation of all of Kaiba's hatred for me!"

"Whatever. I've gotta go, guys," Téa sighed, then shot the blond sitting with them a glare. "Thanks to someone, I've got to go take a shower and get changed. Then I'm going with my mother to pick out new ballet shoes."

Tristan shrugged and stood as well. "Well, if we're starting to take our leaves, I'll be taking mine. I promised my sister I'd baby-sit." His face twisted into a scowl. "Again." His face suddenly lit up with a bright smile. "Oh! Duke! Thanks for volunteering to help me!"

"Huh?" The raven-haired teen frowned as his boyfriend grabbed his hands and dragged him to his feet. "I don't remember ever volunteering to help—"

"Details, details!"

Ryou frowned, tilting his head, before gasping and shooting to his feet. "I'm sorry I have to go 'bye!" And then he was gone.

Joey narrowed his eyes slightly. "What's the probability that it had something to do with Bakura and something not very legal?"

Yugi smiled, though it was a tad strained. "I really believe that Bakura's starting to mellow out."

"Yeah? I believed in Santa Clause too," the blond retorted, crossing his arms.

Yami looked perplexed by this statement (the kitten looked a little confused as well), but when he opened his mouth to question his friend further, he found a bony elbow being shoved into his side and a silent but no less pleading pair of violet eyes gazing up at him. He sighed but stayed silent.

Yugi looked up at the blond and smiled again. "Hey, Joey, how'd you get the kitten to let go of Yami so fast?"

Joey watched in amusement as the kitten's chest swelled indignantly. "I grabbed his scruff, no big deal. He just let go and curled up like the good little fuzz ball he is."

"Gee, Joey, you know a lot about cats!" The smaller boy absolutely beamed up at him. "It's great that you know so much, so he'll be safe with you—"

The blond jumped to his feet and turned wide eyes on the equally wide-eyed look-alikes. "Whoa, wait a minute! Safe with me?! I'm not takin' him!"

"But Joey, we can't take him," Yugi explained, frowning. "Since we live above the shop, we're not allowed to keep pets, and—"

"I can't afford to keep a fuckin' eye on him when I gotta keep an eye on me!" Joey hissed, leaning down to glare at Yami; it was easier to glare at Yami, because he didn't have the big doe eyes that Yugi did. "I'm not goin' down because of a cat, man!"

Yami raised an eyebrow. "Joey, cats can take care of themselves, you know. All you have to do is feed it and clean up the box and they're good to go."

"Run after Téa and give it to her! She loves small furry things!" the taller boy spat.

"…Téa's mom is allergic to cats." Yugi's eyes began to water, and he made sure to open his eyes extra wide to look a little more pitiful. "Please, Joey? Just until we can find someone who can take care of him!"

Joey growled, then sighed in defeat and grabbed the kitten, even as it squirmed and tried to claw and bite at his hands. However, his hands were callused from hard work, so he barely felt it, as the kitten was tiny and could only cause damage to his soft skin. "Fine. I'll take him. But you better start looking for someone as soon as you step foot inside the shop!"

"Don't worry, Joey, we will!"

The blond sighed but turned and walked away quickly, lest he turn and unleash his infamous temper on them. He knew that he was the only choice the kitten had, really; Téa's mom was allergic to cats, Yugi and Yami couldn't own one, Duke would just ignore it, Tristan had a dog, and he didn't trust Bakura with any kind of cat, let alone a tiny kitten. …Ryou, maybe, could have taken it, but as he had enough trouble keeping Bakura in line, he decided not to even ask.

Common courtesy for the people who dealt with psychos on a regular basis, of course.

He held up the kitten still struggling to escape his hands and scowled. "Yeah, Yami's right. You're just like Kaiba. Always smooth and confident and icy until someone gets to ya and pisses ya off. The way he cows people with his smart ass comments he might as well just scratch them across the face. The only real difference is that you are on four legs and he is on two!"

When the kitten shot him a scathing glare, he growled and stopped at the edge of the boundaries where the middle-class homes led to the lower-class homes. He had a little time before he needed to be worried—when the lower-class homes melted into lowest-class apartments and gangs ran wild—but he knew he'd need to work this problem out sooner rather than later.

He couldn't hold the cat in his hands; he needed his hands free in case he was attacked. He also couldn't keep the cat in any of his pockets; it would just escape. He pondered whether or not he should pull a Kiba Inuzuka and just zip up his jacket and put the cat in there, but the probability of the kitten scratching him was very high. There was also the fact that if he did get attacked and had to fight his way out, the kitten would be in the line of fire; the stomach was second only to the face when it came to weak spots.

"…Shit. Guess I'm just gonna have to keep ya in one hand," Joey muttered, before taking the time to situate the cat securely in one hand. He kept that hand to his chest and placed his other hand in his jacket pocket before he began walking again. "Maybe if we both keep quiet, no one'll attack us."

The look the kitten gave him was alarmed, to say the least. He ignored it and continued onward; he would be safer at home than he would be out on the streets, though whether the cat would be too was questionable.

-x-x-x-

Seto wrinkled his nose in disgust as he was set down on the blond's unmade futon. Dear God, the door had opened and he'd vomited from the smell of alcohol. While he'd been heaving (he had to admit, though, Joey hadn't complained about getting a little kitty vomit on his sleeves or hands), Joey had simply walked through the house to the bathroom.

He'd been set on the counter as the blond took off his jacket and threw it in a dirty clothes bin, then washed his hands. After his hands were clean, he grabbed a damp cloth and had carefully cleaned his face up, getting the vomit and drool that had not been projected onto him. Seto had sat through all of this in silence, trying to understand the blond's sudden change in mood.

Joey hadn't wanted him, had been upset to be the one who got stuck with him, and now he was taking care of him. Had he resigned himself to the task of caring for a kitten or did he genuinely not hate the idea anymore?

Seto was then carried to the boy's room. It wasn't messy, per se, but it wasn't as entirely clean as it could have been. At least it didn't smell of alcohol, which he couldn't say for the rest of the house (including the freaking bathroom). The room was sparsely furnished. Actually, it was furnished only by the futon and a small, weak space heater placed near the middle of the sleeping pallet. There was also a large cardboard box in the far corner of the room filled with neatly folded clothes; his dresser, if you will.

He was disgusted by the poverty he'd been forced into. He knew Joey was not as well off as some, but he'd never thought that he'd lived in this kind of squalor. He'd thought they'd been lucky not to get attacked when they reached the apartments, but he'd spoken too soon; Joey had been attacked on the stairs just outside his door.

He'd taken a punch to the face (a black eye was now forming) and instantly retaliated with an uppercut that sent the assailant stumbling back. He'd then followed the attacker further down the hallway, punching him in the face and kicking him in the gut. When the man had failed to fall, Joey had kicked him in the groin, causing the man to shriek in pain and fall to his knees. That had been what the blond had been waiting for, as he used his foot to force his attacker's head into the wall with a sickening crack. Joey had left him there and stalked into his apartment.

Seto knew now that if he got into a physical fight with Joey, he would lose miserably. He'd always known that Joey used to be in a gang, but to see that instinct, the kill-or-be-killed light in the blond's chestnut eyes, had been terrifying.

He thought back to Duelist Kingdom and frowned. When he'd thrown Joey to the ground, the boy had not attacked him further. Could his soul have been healed by Yugi so much that he would not respond to negative touching while the other boy was present? Seeing him fight off a man he hadn't seen and who'd had the upper hand, he knew that Joey could have grabbed his wrist before he'd thrown him and reduced him to a crying, whimpering mass of pain.

And yet he hadn't.

Whatever. Joey hadn't returned from leaving the room and he was growing impatient. He waddled his way over to the door (he honestly did not know how he managed to walk without falling on his face now that he was walking on four legs) and began into the hallway.

Joey had been coming back while he'd been moving. The boy scooped him up in one fluid motion, his grip never faltering on the plate in his hand. He tapped the door shut with his foot, frowning, as he set the kitten back on his futon. "You don't wanna go outside my room, fuzz ball, I promise. It smells out there and there's broken glass in the carpet that I can't get up."

Seto noted that the blond was still wearing his shoes. He had figured it was just bad American manners that Joey never changed into inside shoes when he entered a building, or at least took them off. With this new information, however, he understood why.

"Hey, fuzz ball! I went through all the trouble of goin' next door to get some meat for ya! You could at least try the fuckin' sausage," Joey stated, misinterpreting the kitten's lack of acknowledgement of the plate of tiny sliced sausage.

The man-turned-kitty blinked in confusion before looking down at the plate. He'd never been a fan of sausage, but now… he was so hungry, and he sincerely doubted that the blond would find him something else…

Hmm. This sausage actually wasn't that bad. Perhaps he should ask where the neighbor had gotten it from…

Joey couldn't help a smile as he watched the kitten begin to go at the sausage with a new vengeance. "Ya like that, huh? Yeah, it's good sausage. Told 'em I'd pay them back at the end of the month when I get paid." He wrinkled his nose. "Which means I guess I'm gonna have to cut back on food again. God, I always get stuck with somethin' that keeps me from gettin' decent food."

Seto frowned and looked up at him, then looked back at the sausage. He'd always thought that the blond was just a bottomless pit, but he actually didn't have the money to spend on extra food. Had he just cheated the boy out of some decent meals this month? And if Joey ever found out that it was because of him, "moneybags," would he hate him even more for picking the kitten's welfare over his own?

"I don't wantcha goin' outside of my room when I'm not here, okay?" Joey asked, and the kitten began to doubt his intelligence. Seriously, he was speaking to a cat. The blond's brow furrowed to show how serious he was. "Hey, look at me."

Seto looked up at him in concern. He could honestly say he'd never heard the blond speak in such a harsh tone.

The blond scowled. "I said don't go outside my room when I'm not here. My dad wouldn't hesitate to throw a bottle at ya if he sees ya and you'll cut up your little paws anyway, so just stay in here where it's warm 'nd safe." He forced his lips into a wry smile and reached over to turn the space heater on to its lowest setting. "I'll even keep the heater on so ya don't get cold. Ya get me?"

Seto nodded slightly, mewing a "yes" up at him.

Joey's smile became sincere. "I always knew cats were intelligent. That's why you're always seen as signs of evil or psychic. You're so calm, 'nd collected, 'nd you always land on your feet." He sighed. "And you can take care of yourselves. I wish I could just live on the street rather than come back here, but I wouldn't be able ta catch my own food or find a way to keep warm. Sometimes…" His smile faded. "Sometimes I wish I could be a cat, instead of a stupid, clumsy puppy."

Seto felt his stomach clench with guilt. Abandoning what was left of the sausage, he went to rub against the blond's arm. He'd never known that Joey had truly felt like a dog sometimes.

The blond frowned in thought. "Ya know, Kaiba was right. I'm just a stupid mutt. Here I am, helpless and dependent on my father's name to keep a roof over my head. I can't be solitary or suave like a cat." He sighed and looked down at the kitten, petting him gently. "Kaiba's a cat. Always so fuckin' relaxed and aloof. I was only ever like that in a gang, and that was 'cause everyone else was too afraid to piss me off." He sighed again, then stood up and left the room.

Seto waited patiently for him to come back. Now that he knew the carpet outside the room was strewn with glass, he didn't want to risk following him.

Joey returned a few minutes later with the clothes bin he'd thrown his jacket into not even an hour earlier. He rested the basket on his hip momentarily to bend down and grab Seto's scruff before lifting him into the hamper to sit on top of the dirty clothes. "Come on, fuzz ball. We're gonna go do some laundry."

Seto settled himself in for the ride. He knew that Joey would need to keep an eye out for anyone that attacked him, so he was lucky to get such a comfortable place (the clothes were actually rather comfortable; he understood why lots of cats slept on them now) to stay. He just hoped they didn't get attacked again. He didn't ever want to see the blond's fight-or-flight response ever again.

-x-x-x-

Joey couldn't help but laugh at the kitten as it sat on top of the vibrating washer. True, this Laundromat was not the best, but it was the cheapest without getting his clothes ruined. The machines were old and shook violently. The kitten had its eyes closed and was purring quite contentedly.

It wasn't like he could really blame it or make fun of it, either, as he sat upon the other washer he was using. It was the easiest way to make sure no one stole your clothes, and it gave quite a nice massage if you sat on it correctly.

He glanced toward the door as he heard it open, then smiled at the elderly woman as she came in and used the washing machine next to his. "Hello, Mrs. Finney!"

The old, wrinkly face spread into a delighted smile. "Hello, Joseph. I wondered when you'd come down to wash your clothes." She raised a brow as she saw the kitten gazing at her coolly. "And who's your new friend?"

Joey shrugged slightly. "Just a cat I'm watching 'til Yug' can find someone to take it in." He jumped from on top of the washer and turned to help her fit her large load into the machine. "Let me help ya with that, Mrs. Finney."

"Well thank you, dear." As soon as the wash was paid for and all of the detergent poured in, she gave the blond a sweet smile. "I need to run home for a moment, Joseph. Would you mind watching my clothes for me until I get back? I'll make a sandwich and bring it to you if you do."

The blond's eyes lit up at the prospect of a good sandwich that he didn't really have to pay for. "Sure, Mrs. Finney. Could you bring a little paper plate of milk, too? I'm sure the little fuzz ball would like it."

She laughed. "I'll see what I can do. I'll be back soon, dear!"

The boy smiled as she walked out, then looked down at the kitten that was looking up at him curiously. "That was Mrs. Finney. She's the one that found me the first time my dad beat me and I ran away. She's fond of me for some reason. I haven't seen her in a while though." His smile faded. "I've been busy workin' lately. Been missin' my fights with Kaiba. Man, I miss those."

He raised an eyebrow as the kitten tilted its head inquisitively. "Oh, as if it's not obvious. The guy's hot, fuzz ball. And he's smart, and rich." He looked up at the ceiling and frowned, eyes glazing over slightly in thought. "But I never really cared 'bout that before. I mean, sure, I wanna be with someone who makes a little more money than me, so I can get out of the fuckin' ghetto, but other than that… I really don't care. As long as the person sees me an' pays attention to me… They don't even hafta actually do anything with me, as long as they care 'bout me." He smiled sadly and looked back down at the kitten.

He had to snort at the miffed expression he found there. He could just tell the kitten was asking, 'Okay, so what the fuck does that have to do with fighting with Kaiba?'

"He pays attention to me," he finally stated, calming himself down and letting his lips twitch into a small smile. "I mean, I'm not actually a threat to him; Yugi and Yami are, 'cause they keep beatin' him and I keep losin'. But he always singles me out and fights with me. I dunno why that makes me so happy. Maybe it's 'cause someone so powerful and so much higher class than me actually notices me out of all my other friends, even though he has bigger beefs with them."

He snorted in disdain and looked away from the kitten quickly. "As if he'd ever notice me as anything other than trash, though. He called me a stupid mutt the first time he saw me and he was right. What could I possibly offer him that he couldn't get anywhere else?" He leaned back against the wall and sighed, crossing his arms as his expression fell into one of defeat. "He probably has a beautiful supermodel girlfriend anyway. Why would he want plain old me when he could have anyone he wants?"

He didn't get to see the absolutely horrified expression the kitten was wearing (not that he would have classified it as horrified; the cat looked more pissed than anything else) as the door opened again. He beamed as Mrs. Finney walked in with a sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap and a small paper plate with cream on it. She set it on the floor as Joey hurried to put the kitten level with its food, then cooed in delight as the sandwich was handed to him.

Aside from getting nailed in the nuts from Téa, this had actually turned out to be a very good day!

-x-x-x-

'I wanna go home, I wanna go home, I wanna go home!' It was a mantra through his head, the only thing keeping him from running out Joey's bedroom door and making a break for the front door. He peeked out from under the thin blanket on Joey's futon, trembling in fear as the voices outside of the room rose in volume.

Seto winced as he heard the distinct sound of flesh on flesh, a drunk slur of 'worthless' or something of the like soon following. There was a thud against the wall before another shout and another punch.

He shouldn't have clawed at the door to get out, but he really had to go to the bathroom and he didn't want to do it on the floor; he knew that the blond would not appreciate it. However, the noise had only brought the boy's father, who had kicked him as soon as he'd seen him and sent him flying into a wall. He still ached, but he was more worried about Joey.

The blond had woken up just in time to see him hit the wall before he scampered under the blanket. The boy had shot to his feet and begun shrieking at his father, shoving him out of his room and swinging one of his fists above his head to emphasize his point. Things had escalated to punches now, though from what he could tell, Joey hadn't thrown any of them.

He cowered lower beneath the blanket as he heard the drunken slurs coming closer; the horrible man was coming toward him, ready to kick him into the wall again and again and end his short, miserable life— 'I wanna go home, I wanna go home, I wanna go home!'

"Stay outta my room, ya bastahd!"

Seto could only heave a shaky sigh of relief as the blond suddenly launched himself at the man in the doorway, wrapping his arms around his father's neck and dragging him backward. He winced, his ears folding back as he heard a crack when his father had reared backward to slam him into the wall.

And then Joey was shrieking again, punching his father in the face from behind before he ducked around him and slammed his head into the wall with a sickening crack, just like the man that had attacked him outside. The only difference was that crack had been from the blond's knuckles. He'd protected his father's skull from damage.

The blond shoved the man away from his room in disgust. "Lemme the fuck alone, old man!" He stormed into the room and slammed his door shut, then glared at it, waiting for his father to test him. When the old man did not persist, he turned and stormed over to his futon, yanking the blanket back to glare at the kitten.

Seto stared up at him in terror. He knew all of this was his fault, and he deserved whatever pain he had coming to him. He just hoped he was in for a swift and almost painless death. He shut his eyes quickly as the blond reached toward him.

The hands picking him up were gentle and handled him tenderly, fingers sliding over his tiny limbs and giving his adorably round belly a tiny squeeze to check for any major injuries. He opened his eyes in confusion and looked up at the blond.

Joey still looked angry. He didn't understand why he was being so delicate when he was so mad. He deserved the pain, deserved his head on a pike for putting the blond in danger and making him risk his health—

"Bastahd. I shoulda knocked 'is fuckin' head off!" Seeing nothing immediately wrong, the blond gathered the kitten into his arms and began petting him. "I'm sorry, fuzz ball. I shoulda gotten a box or a newspapah or somethin'."

Joey's accent became much more pronounced when he was upset. Seto trembled in relief; the blond wasn't angry at him, he was angry at himself! …Wait a minute.

Seto squeaked as he was placed on the blond's lap, then looked up at him in confusion. 'Why?'

Joey smiled sadly. "I'm sorry you got hurt, you cute little fuzz ball."

Seto frowned. This was not the way he wanted to see the blond. He wanted to see him bright, and happy, like he always was. He never wanted to see the blond hurting like this again.

"I'm goin' back to sleep, fuzz ball. If ya hafta go to the bathroom, just go anywhere. I'll clean it up in the morning." The blond set him aside and laid back down, letting his eyes flutter shut.

Seto watched him fall asleep, then sighed and sat back, nose wrinkling in annoyance. He wanted so badly to do something to make the blond's life better, wanted to take back all of the bad things he ever said about him that had actually been true.

However, all he could do right now is curl up next to the slightly shivering blond and give him what little warmth his tiny body had to offer.

-x-x-x-

Joey moaned softly and snuggled into the warmth beside him. He'd never felt so comfortable when he woke up. All he wanted to do was stay beside this source of heat forever, and bask in the joy of feeling safe and cared for.

He wrapped his arms around the source of heat beside him and sighed, then frowned. His brows furrowed together in confusion as he slid his hand down the side of the object he was holding. He heard a soft sigh of content at that and quickly opened his eyes to see what—who—he'd been holding.

His eyes widened in surprise and horror. Seto. Fucking. Kaiba.

"AAAHHHH!"

The brunet woke with a jolt, looking around in confusion. "What is it?"

"What is it?! What is it!? You're in my fuckin' bed!" Joey shrieked, blushing, then looked down quickly. "And you're naked!" he added, quickly throwing off his blanket to cover the nude teen. "What the hell, Kaiba!"

Seto frowned and looked down at himself in confusion before his lips twisted into a small smile. He looked up at the blond. "'Kaiba' is a step up from 'fuzz ball,' I guess."

"Oh, what the hell 're ya talkin' 'bout, ya perverted stalker?!" the smaller teen exclaimed, before the words spoken registered in his head. "…Fuzz ball?"

"You seemed fond of calling me that, yes."

Joey paled as he came to a conclusion with the clues he'd just had thrown at him. Seto was fuzz ball. Fuzz ball was Seto. He'd risked his fucking life for a fucking bastard. He'd given up at least three decent meals for a fucking bastard! And now Seto knew just how fucked up his life was and would doubtlessly make up new insults for him—

"Asshole!" he shouted, before scrambling to get up. He let out a squawk as the brunet grabbed his wrists and yanked him back down, causing him to land straddling his lap. "Ah!"

"You could at least let me thank you before you storm off," Seto stated, raising an eyebrow, before he showed the blond another small smile. "Thank you for taking care of me even though you didn't want to. Thank you for saving me from your drunken, stupid father. And thank you for missing our fights."

"You're welcome now lemme go-! …Wait, what?" The blond frowned in confusion at the last statement. "…Thank me… for missing our fights?"

"I missed them too," the older boy stated truthfully, and was rewarded with a small blush. He smirked. "And I'll have you know that I do not have a beautiful supermodel for a girlfriend. I tried once; they're much too high-maintenance. I much prefer the male gender, anyway."

Joey blushed even more and mouthed at him wordlessly before whispering, "Male gender?"

"Yes. So you can ask me out now if you want."

The blond wondered if he could get heat stroke from blushing. He looked away from the older boy quickly, scowling in embarrassment. "Well maybe I don't wanna ask ya out! Ya ever think 'bout that, ya pervert?!"

Seto's smirk faded into a sincerely amused smile. "Fine, then I'll ask you. Joey, will you go out with me this Friday?"

"Why the hell would I wanna—really?" The smaller teen tilted his head. "Ya mean it?"

"Yes, puppy, I mean it," the brunet replied, sighing and rolling his eyes, before looked down at his waist and frowned. "Do you mind if I borrow some pants?"

Joey frowned, a light flush still spread across his cheeks as he bit his bottom lip in thought. "Um… I dunno if I've got anything that'll fit ya…"

"You shouldn't look so fucking molestable," Seto stated bluntly, making the blond's cheeks heat up again. "That's why people keep attacking you; they want to kidnap you and fuck you so they can see the expression on your face as they pleasure you and steal your innocence."

"T-that's insane! And not true!" the blond exclaimed, hurriedly standing up, only to get yanked back down. "Eep!"

"Oh, but it is true, Joey," the brunet replied, his voice lowering to a husky whisper as he looked into the other's boy's eyes. "Because that's exactly what I want to do to you right now."

Joey squeaked before trying to get away from him. "That's only you, ya pervert! Lemme go!"

Seto chuckled and released him to scurry away to his box of clothing. "At least you don't have much to pack."

"Hmm?" The blond looked back at him in confusion. "Pack? What the hell would I pack for?"

"To move in with me, of course." The older teen smirked smugly. "After all, you took care of me, so I should take care of you to return the favor. Getting you out of this hell hole would be a good start."

"I'm not a fuckin' girl, Kaiba! I don't need ya to protect me!" the smaller boy snarled, throwing a pair of sweatpants at him. "These should fit ya!"

Seto sighed and stood, letting the sheet drop as he went to put on the pants offered to him. He smirked as he heard the blond squeak and looked up just in time to see him place his hands over his burning cheeks and look away like a virgin schoolgirl.

Well hell. Winning the blond's love and trust while learning to love and trust him as well was gonna be fun.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

I could add a sequel with the results of Seto's "courting" if you guys really want it, but you'll have to tell me so!