Disclaimer – I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!

*Rated M for Mature

Summary: It's the day before Spring Break and Joey can't wait for some fun in the sun. But his dreams come crashing down when a school project not only winds up making him stay at the home of his worst enemy, but also his biggest crush...Seto Kaiba!

Chapter 1 - Friday

Bang! Bang! Bang!

"Boy! Git yer ass up!"

Joey bolted into complete wakefulness at the sound of his father banging on his door, yelling at him in a slurred voice. This was not good.

Scrambling from his bed, he threw on his school clothes, grabbed his school bag, and ran toward the window.

"Git up, ya lil piece o' shit!" his father spat from behind his locked door. If he didn't get out of here soon, he'd really be in for it.

Opening the window, Joey leaned out and reached for the fire escape just outside. Quickly grabbing onto it, he raced down the unsteady steps just as his father broke into his room, splintering the door from its hinge.

As soon as Joey's feet hit the pavement, pain shot up his leg, but he took off running anyway.

It was still dark. He took a quick glance at his watch and groaned. Two in the fucking morning. Where the hell was he supposed to kill the next five hours before he had to go to school?

Joey stopped running when he reached the sidewalk near the middleclass area of Domino. Briskly walking alongside the empty streets, his hands in his pockets and bag thrown over his shoulder, Joey decided the park might be the safest place to 'hang out.'

Taking the familiar path to his sanctuary, it took him no more than ten minutes to reach the place he called home when he was unwelcome at the apartment he shared with his father.

As he searched through the dark, Joey finally found the spot he was looking for: a small wooden bench nestled underneath a large pine tree. It was out of the way, somewhat sheltered, and would serve as an ideal place to sleep until he had to go to school.

Settling himself on the bench, he laid back, his school bag serving as a makeshift pillow. Staring up at the clouded sky through the branches, Joey sighed as he tried to figure out how he was going to survive the next couple weeks.

Last night had been one of the worst nights of his life. His father had come home roaring drunk, beat the living shit out of him, and then had gone out to do some more drinking.

Joey had then been left to nurse his wounds, which consisted of a few bruised ribs, a slightly twisted ankle—he was actually surprised he'd been able to run in his current condition; thank goodness for adrenaline—and a nice knot on the back of his head.

Running, however, probably hadn't been the best idea. His ankle hurt like hell now and he winced every time he took a deep breath. But it was a small price to pay for getting out of his father's vicious hands.

What really sucked, though, was that today was Friday, the day before Spring Break. He'd be off for two weeks—and as it was looking right now—with no place to go. Joey really didn't want to go back to that hellhole he refused to call home, but what choice did he have? He didn't want to intrude on his friends, and besides, they didn't know what went on between him and his father anyway.

Joey brought a hand up to his face when he felt something wet running down his cheek. Was he actually crying? It couldn't be, could it? The wetness felt oddly cold. But when he started feeling drops of water on every other part of his body, he realized that he wasn't crying; it was raining.

"Why da fuck does it gotta rain?" Joey grumbled as he sat up on the park bench. So much for getting some well-needed rest.

Bringing his knees up to his chest, Joey stared out at the rain that seemed to want to make the start of his day grow even worse. Mother Nature appeared to want to torment him, too. Could he never get a break?

As he huddled on the bench in an attempt to stay warm, he closed his eyes, wishing that the day would improve. And if he didn't have to go home for the next two weeks, that would be even better.

Joey smiled as he closed his locker. Only one more class to go and then he was off from school for two whole weeks! Spring Break was so close he could almost taste it. Where he'd spend those two weeks was still a bit of an issue, though, but he'd deal with that later. He was just thrilled that his day had improved.

He'd gone all day without being late, dealing with Kaiba, getting in trouble, dealing with Kaiba, falling asleep in class, and did he mention dealing with Kaiba? Joey hadn't seen the CEO all day, making him feel a combination of both joy and…sorrow.

What? Could he help it if he actually liked the guy? Not a like as in the friendship kind of like, but the like as in like-like.

Yes. He had a major crush on the sexy billionaire. Even though all they did was fight, Joey couldn't help but feel delighted whenever Seto Kaiba sought him out to pick on him. It made him feel…special.

But not seeing the CEO might have been a good thing. Joey wasn't really in the mood to fight. He was tired, in pain, and was still worried about where he was going to spend his Spring Break. Minus the morning's events, he had been having a pretty good day.

Well, that was until he walked into something both hard and soft at the same time. The familiar scent of cinnamon wafted through his nose.

Joey hesitantly looked up, only to see a pale face shrouded by brown hair and evil-looking blue eyes; said eyes were glaring at him.

"Watch it, Mutt," Kaiba snapped as he spun on his heels and headed to class.

"I ain't a dog, Kaiba," Joey retaliated softly, without much fire or spark, but his response fell on deaf ears.

Or so he thought.

Gripping his school bag tightly, he followed Kaiba to their classroom…their Psychology classroom. Why he had to take Psychology of all things, Joey didn't know. Why Kaiba, of all people, was taking Psychology, he really didn't know.

But, alas, that's what happens when budget cuts run rampant throughout the school district; it cuts out all the good stuff and replaces it with subjects the school board feels the students need, not want.

What high school student in their right mind would willingly take Psychology? It was stupid! At least it was in Joey's eyes.

All they did was read the damn textbook and answer questions in the back of it! No lecture, no activities, no group work, no projects. Joey hated to say it, but he would have done anything to have something interesting happen in that class.

As he took his seat near the back, Joey started wishing he hadn't made that thought as he read the board: Social Behavior Project.

"Great," Joey muttered under his breath. The last thing he needed was a school project to do over his Spring Break. Really, were all teachers evil?

"Good afternoon, class," started their teacher, Mr. Sanforth. "Today I'm assigning a project for you to complete over the break. It will be on Social Behavior."

The entire class groaned, including Kaiba, Joey noticed.

"Now, I know you'll all be thrilled by what I have to say. This project you'll be able to do in partners."

Joey's ears perked up at that. The class seemed to buzz with excitement as well. If the project was going to take all Spring Break, maybe he could stay at the home of his partner. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. As long as—

"And I've already picked your partners," finished Mr. Sanforth, stunning the class into silence. Joey could have sworn he heard a cricket or two, but brushed it off as his imagination. Plus, he wasn't pleased that their teacher had taken the liberty of selecting their partners.

"I've even assigned the project to be completed with each pair," their teacher explained happily. Did the whole 'freedom of choice' thing totally go over this guy's head or what? And with that, Mr. Sanforth began calling out the names of their partners.

After half the names were called, Joey found himself growing anxious. He clenched his hands so tightly they were turning white. The only thing going through his mind at that moment was the mantra: Please not Kaiba. Please not Kaiba. Please not Kaiba.

"Joseph Wheeler will be paired with—"

Joey held his breath.

"—Duke Devlin—"

Joey sighed in relief.

"—Oh, I'm sorry. I skipped down a line."

Joey held his breath again.

"Mr. Wheeler, you'll be paired with Seto Kaiba."

Joey paled. "What?" Bolting from his seat, the chair he'd been sitting in clattered to the floor. "I ain't bein' his partner!"

"Mr. Wheeler, sit down," Mr. Sanforth replied, unfazed.

"I don't think you understand," Kaiba started, rising from his seat and glaring ominously at their teacher. "I will not be paired with such an imbecile."

"Hey! Who ya callin' an imbecile, ya stupid bastard?" Joey roared, turning on the CEO. Perhaps yelling wasn't such a good idea. His chest was starting to hurt again.

"That is enough!" Mr. Sanforth snapped. "You will be partners, you will do this project, or you will fail this class. Is that understood?"

Both teenagers sat down. But Joey had to sit down again. This time with the chair. He'd forgotten he'd knocked it over.

Mr. Sanforth finished reading off the names and told them to sit with their partners. He then passed out a large manila envelope that supposedly held the requirements for their project.

Joey was about to open it when Kaiba snatched it out of his hands.

"I was gonna open it," Joey said softly, glaring weakly at the CEO. Why did he feel so drained?

"Unlikely. Paws don't have opposable thumbs, remember?" Kaiba replied with a smirk.

Joey huffed and crossed his arms. He couldn't think of a comeback. Like he ever could.

Why did that hot, sexy bastard always have to have the last word? Of all people, why did he have to like him? Joey didn't know how it had happened. It just had! It was like one of those unsolved mysteries or something.


Kaiba's stern voice drew him from his thoughts. Of course, when Joey looked at him, he wanted to run for cover. Kaiba looked like he was about to explode or something.

This time, Kaiba bolted from his seat. "What the hell do you mean we have to live together over the break?" he yelled at Mr. Sanforth, who, again, appeared unfazed.

"It's the only way you'll be able to effectively complete your assignment. The two of you must live together for the entire break, although, where you stay does not matter to me. Everyone will present their projects as soon as school resumes."

As Kaiba and Mr. Sanforth had their verbal battle about the requirements for the assignment, Joey couldn't help but panic.

They couldn't live at his place! His father would kill him! And, now that he really thought about it, if he was gone for two whole weeks and then came back to the apartment, his father would really kill him!

Joey hugged himself subconsciously. He was screwed either way. If he thought the beatings he received at home were bad now, he didn't know what to call them when he went back after being gone for two weeks. He was as good as dead.

"Mutt?" Was that concern in Kaiba's voice or was he imagining things again?


Kaiba seemed to contemplate his next words. "You look like you have a fever," he said, placing a hand on Joey's forehead.

The blond recoiled from the sudden touch. "Don't," he stated firmly.

Sighing in irritation, Kaiba drew back his hand. "If you're going to be living at my mansion for the next two weeks, I would suggest you not come sick."

Joey just grew more concerned. When was the decision made that he was living with Kaiba? Had he been lost in his thoughts for that long?

"I'm…livin' wit' ya?" Joey asked, dumbfounded.

"Yes, Mutt! Haven't you been listening at all?"

Joey's head started pounding. Maybe he was getting sick. Rubbing his temples, Joey whispered, "Please don't yell." His head hurt so much that he felt like he was going to cry.

Kaiba was shocked by the blond's quiet response, but he didn't let it show. What the hell was wrong with the Mutt now? He was unsure about what to do next, and that made him uncomfortable. He always knew what to do…but now, he didn't.

"Do you want me to explain the project to you?" inquired Kaiba evenly.

Joey looked up at him with surprised eyes. Was Kaiba actually trying to be civil? "Um…o-okay."

"Our Social Behavior Project is on the relation between social influences, personality, and language. Basically, one of us has to study the other—which will be you—take notes, and write a paper on it. Then an experiment is conducted on that person—you again—meaning you get to be my guinea pig. I'll need to change the way you talk, the way you handle yourself, and be able to pass you off as someone of my elite status. When we get back from the break, I will be presenting you as the completed portion of this project. Just think, you might not be a mutt anymore, but a pedigree," Kaiba said with a smirk.

Joey just gaped at him like a fish. What was he? Some kind of kept pet or something?

"Why do ya get to be da one doin' experiments?"

"Have you ever read Pygmalion?"

Joey shook his head, not knowing where Kaiba was going with this.

"Have you ever seen My Fair Lady?"

Joey shook his head again.

"Both are one and the same. A man comes along and takes a poor woman selling flowers off the street. He cleans her up, teaches her how to speak and act as a proper lady, and virtually passes her off as some sort of princess. Our project is basically the same." Kaiba turned to smirk devilishly at him. Joey didn't like that look. "Well?"

Joey just dropped his head and nodded in defeat. There was no point in arguing now because Kaiba had already made up his mind. And he really didn't feel like fighting. He was too exhausted.

"What the hell is wrong with you today?" Kaiba asked, his voice deathly low.

Joey's brows knitted in confusion. "I dunno what ya mean."

"Why won't you fight with me? Why are you suddenly acting so…submissive?"

"I'm not…I'm just tired, okay?" Now, leave me alone, Joey thought to himself.

Kaiba did not want to let this go. Something was wrong with his Mutt. He'd figure it out sooner or later. Sooner rather than later.

He was about to comment on this when the shrill cry of the bell suddenly cut him off. Glaring at the bell evilly, he stood up from his seat and stared down at Joey.

"Are you coming or not?" he snapped as he briskly walked out of the classroom.

Joey grabbed his school bag and sped after him. "Where are we goin'?"

"My limo."

When they reached the front of the school, a shiny black limousine was already there.

"Get in," Kaiba quipped.

Joey hesitated. "Where are we goin'?" he repeated.

"My mansion. Now get in!" Kaiba was beginning to lose his patience.

"But…my stuff…is at…home." Joey flinched a little as he reluctantly called that dingy apartment he shared with his father 'home.'

"You won't need anything. Now get in before I make you."

Joey sighed and slid into the limo, Kaiba following suit.

"Why can't I get my stuff?"

"According to the requirements of this project, you won't need your stuff."

"What do ya mean?"

"If you're going to be my experiment, then I need to change everything. This includes the way you look and dress." Kaiba smiled inwardly. This was going to be fun. The Mutt was his now, to do with as he pleased.

Kaiba suddenly balked when this thought crossed his mind. Why am I getting a rush from calling him my Mutt? He isn't mine. But…I have to admit I wouldn't mind him belonging to me. He's just like a dog sometimes; loyal, compassionate, clumsy, adorable…Where the fuck did that come from? As Kaiba started arguing with himself in his head, he didn't notice the sudden change in Joey's demeanor.

The blond put a shaky hand to his head as he was hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea. What the hell was wrong with him now? Was he really getting sick or did he have a concussion or something from where he was hit?

Panic slowly started to seize him when he started blacking out. "Kaiba?" he gasped out. What else could he do? He was scared something was wrong with him and the CEO was the only one there.

Kaiba was surprised, to say the least, when he heard fear in Joey's voice. And when he turned to face him, he was shocked into action. "Mutt? What's wrong?" he asked as he reached over and steadied Joey in his seat.

"Can't see," he whispered as he clutched onto Kaiba's arm.

Can't see? "What do you mean you can't see?"

Joey swallowed hard and squeezed his eyes shut when a wave of pain coursed through his body. He whimpered slightly, waiting for it to pass.

By this time, Kaiba was literally freaking out. What the hell was wrong with his Mutt? His Puppy?

Reacting more out of instinct than anything else, Kaiba gently grabbed Joey and pulled him into his lap securely and tried to get him to relax.

"Easy there, Puppy," he said soothingly.

Joey was temporarily brought out of his pain-filled delirium when he realized Kaiba was being…comforting. And gradually, the pain began to subside and his vision finally cleared, but he was still scared to death.

Kaiba, noticing that Joey no longer seemed to be in pain—at least for now—turned the blond to face him. "Puppy?" he called out softly.

Recognition seemed to dawn in Joey's eyes, but there was confusion there, too. "Puppy?" Today was the first day Kaiba had ever called him that, and he had to admit, it was better than Mutt.

The brunet froze. Shit. Had he actually said that out loud? By the puzzled look on Joey's face, he assumed he did. "Yes. Puppy. You're more a puppy than a mutt anyway," he mumbled in explanation for his slipup.

"Oh," Joey replied, looking down at his lap. That's when he noticed whose lap he was in. And then he was trying to struggle out of Kaiba's hold. "Let me go."

"No," Kaiba said forcefully, pulling Joey back into his lap. "And stop flailing. You'll only make what's wrong with you worse."

It was Joey's turn to freeze. Worse? He didn't want to feel worse than he already did.

When the blond stopped moving, Kaiba decided now was the time to figure out just what was going on with him. "How are you feeling now?"

Joey eyed him hesitantly. Why should he tell him anything? "Why do ya wanna know? Ya don't care," he responded quietly.

Kaiba couldn't help but feel his heart go out to him. Joey sounded so helpless…so…alone. "Maybe I do. Now tell me. How are you feeling?"


Sighing in irritation—for what felt like the hundredth time that day—Kaiba asked, "Do you feel sick? Are you hurt anywhere?" At this, he felt Joey stiffen. Thinking he struck gold, he continued. "Where are you hurt?"

Joey just shook his head.

"Where are you hurt, Puppy?"

Closing his eyes again, Joey tried to wish everything away, but failed miserably. Why did Kaiba have to sound so…concerned? It made his heart ache for something more.

"Puppy, if you're hurt, tell me where so that I can have my doctor take a look at you," Kaiba insisted.

"Everywhere." Joey decided to give in.


"I hurt…everywhere." Please don't ask how.

"How did you get hurt?"

No. I can't tell. Because then I'll remember and I'll…no! I can't cry now! Joey squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head, but he couldn't help the little tear that escaped.

Kaiba noticed it. "Puppy."

"Mr. Kaiba, we're here, sir," his driver suddenly announced.

Momentarily startled, Kaiba looked back at Joey, concern bubbling inside of him. "We're home, Puppy," he said softly, hoping to coax Joey into cooperation. Sliding the blond off his lap, Kaiba slipped out of the limo and waited for Joey to follow suit.

When he finally did, Kaiba had to rush over to catch him when he lost his balance.

Pain shot up Joey's leg, making it feel as if it were on fire. He'd overworked his sprained ankle. He knew that, and he wouldn't be able to get around without help.

"Puppy?" There was Kaiba's concerned voice again. "Are you okay to walk?"

Joey hated to admit it, but he didn't think he could even make it a step. Shaking his head, Joey got the shock of his life when Kaiba lifted him bridal style and started carrying him to the mansion, babbling his head off.

"I'm calling my doctor as soon as I get you inside. You will stay in bed unless I say otherwise. I don't want you getting worse. You will tell me what happened. You'd better be honest with me as well," he rambled as he stepped through the front door.

"Seto!" came a high-pitched voice, along with pounding feet. "And Joey!" Mokuba exclaimed, quite surprised. But soon, a mischievous twinkle was in his eye as he noticed the position they were in. Hey, it wasn't every day you saw your older brother waltz in through the front door holding their secret crush like a bride. Not that his brother knew that he knew, of course.

Mokuba's loud voice was a bit too much for Joey to handle at the moment, for he placed a hand to his head again and whimpered slightly.

"Joey?" Mokuba called, this time softer. Concern and worry were etched on his face as he looked to his brother for an explanation.

"Call my doctor and tell him to get here. Soon," said Kaiba as he made his way toward the stairs. Mokuba raced off to do his bidding.

When Kaiba reached the top of the stairs, he debated where to take his Puppy. For the love of—his Puppy? He really needed to stop doing that…even if he really did like the blond in his arms. How could one simple crush make him want to do anything for him? But he highly doubted Joey felt the same.

Deciding he'd much rather have Joey in his room than anywhere else, that was exactly where he took him. And as he gently placed the blond on the bed, he stepped back to take in his pallid complexion.

Joey took in his 'blue' surroundings apprehensively. This had to be Kaiba's room. But why would he take him here? Feeling uncomfortable, he was about to say something when he felt a weight on the bed next to him.

"My doctor will be here to check on you in a bit. Do you want to tell me anything before he gets here?" Kaiba asked honestly.

Joey remained silent.

"Then I guess I'll just find out after he examines you," Kaiba said finally as he stood from the bed.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. "Seto? Dr. Henry is here," announced Mokuba.

"Let him in."

The bedroom door opened and in came Mokuba and Dr. Henry. He was a tall man who looked to be in his mid-forties with graying hair.

"My patient is on the bed, I presume?"

"Yes," responded Kaiba.

"Then I'd like to ask the both of you to leave so that I may examine my patient in private."

Kaiba debated his options, but decided it was for the best. Taking Mokuba, they left Joey with the doctor.

"How long does it take to do a stupid examination?" Kaiba grumbled under his breath as he paced the living room floor.

Mokuba just sat on the couch and watched his brother helplessly. "Is Joey gonna be okay, Seto?"

Pausing, he stared at his brother, sighing tiredly. "I hope so."

"You…should tell Joey you like him."

Kaiba's head shot up and a light blush stained his cheeks. "What? How'd you—"

"I'm your little brother. I know everything about you. You should know by now that you can't hide anything from me. Especially that diary of yours," he snickered.


"Mr. Kaiba?" Dr. Henry's voice interrupted their conversation.

"How is he?" Kaiba asked, rounding on the poor doctor. "Is he going to be okay? What's wrong with him?"

Dr. Henry placed his bag down and stared at the nervous CEO. "He's suffered a mild concussion, which explains the slight blackout he had accompanied by vision loss, but that will clear up if he takes it easy. He has a few bruised ribs, which I've wrapped, and a severely sprained ankle. I've wrapped that as well. Make sure he stays off it for a few days. He…is also covered in numerous bruises. Some bad…some severe…and he appears to be a bit malnourished. I think he's being abused. Are you aware of his home life?"

Kaiba was still trying to take everything in. "He…um, he lives with his father. I know that he…drinks quite often."

Nodding, Dr. Henry continued. "I shall report him to the authorities. Make sure Mr. Wheeler remains in bed for the next few days, make sure he starts eating well, and give him the painkillers I've left on the bedside table. He has a bit of a cold, mainly due to his immune system being shot from malnutrition, but the painkillers, rest and a few balanced meals should fix him up. Take good care of him," he said.

As he left, Kaiba and Mokuba just stood there in silence.

His Puppy was being abused? By his father? For how long?

"Give him some painkillers and I'll get him something to eat, okay?" said Mokuba, trying to get his brother to respond.

Kaiba nodded absently and went up the stairs and entered his bedroom. Joey was curled up in the center of the bed, trembling.

"Puppy?" Kaiba called softly. When he received no response, he decided to try a different tactic. "Joey?"

Well, that was new. Uncurling himself, Joey slowly turned to see the brunet staring at him—dare he say it—tenderly. Suddenly, the blond's eyes watered. "He told ya, didn't he? He told ya."

Kaiba sat on the bed and pulled Joey into his arms. "Dr. Henry told me that someone had been abusing you. Was it…your father?"

"Yes," Joey stammered out between sobs as he buried his face in the crook of Kaiba's neck and cried.

"Then how would you like it if you never had to go back? You can stay here."

"What? But why—"

"Because no one should have to go through something like that," Kaiba interrupted. "So you will stay here and for the next few days you will remain in bed. Dr. Henry said you need to take it easy. You've got a mild concussion, bruised ribs, a sprained ankle, and you're malnourished."

Joey appeared stunned. That much was wrong with him? "I'm…gonna be okay, right?"

Kaiba nodded. "If you rest and eat well, you'll be fine."

Silence followed as they tried to figure out what else to say to each other. It…was strange not fighting about something. This was the closest they had ever been to being sociable to one another.

Here they were, in the same room, each harboring a crush for one another without the other's knowledge, and they couldn't say a word. Even with how Kaiba was helping Joey now, the CEO couldn't find it in him to express his true emotions to the blond.

The awkward silence was soon disrupted, however, when there was a knock on the door.

"Come in, Mokuba," said Kaiba.

Mokuba walked in with a tray filled with food. "How did you know it was me?"

Kaiba rolled his eyes. "Who else would it be?"

Laughing in embarrassment, Mokuba set the tray on the bedside table and looked over at Joey. "How are you feeling?"

"Um…okay now, I guess," Joey replied hesitantly.

"I brought you food," Mokuba cried brightly. "I didn't know what you liked, so I just grabbed whatever I could find."

Kaiba looked at his little brother disapprovingly. "I hope it's not all junk food, Mokuba."

"It's not. I made you a couple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And I got you a banana, some carrot sticks, chips, cookies, pudding, and some milk," Mokuba stated proudly.

Joey couldn't help but smile at the younger boy's enthusiasm. "Looks good," he said softly. He moved out of Kaiba's grasp when he noticed he was still in his arms and settled himself in the middle of the bed. Mokuba put the tray next to him and tossed the bottle of painkillers to Kaiba.

"I'll let you eat and then Seto can give you something for the pain," stated Mokuba as he headed toward the door. But before he left, he turned his worried eyes on Joey. "And please get better soon."

Joey was taken aback by Mokuba's sudden seriousness. "I will."

Mokuba, content with Joey's response, left the room in peace.

"What was dat all about?"

Kaiba sighed and looked at the blond. "He's worried about you."

"Oh." Joey fidgeted with his shirt. "Are ya worried about me, too?"

The blond swore he saw a light blush staining Kaiba's cheeks, but before he could verify it, it was gone.

"You should eat. Then I'll give you some painkillers. All right?" responded Kaiba after a moment's hesitation. Feeling slightly disappointed by the brunet's response, Joey nodded and quietly began eating.

About a sandwich later, Joey said he was full, and he drank the milk with the painkillers.

Kaiba was not pleased by how little Joey ate, but he pushed that worry aside. Perhaps his Puppy was just too tired to really eat anything. Besides, the blond looked as drained as he felt.

"Do you want to change into something more comfortable?" Kaiba asked suddenly.

"Sure," Joey stuttered. Kaiba acting both nicely and distant at the same time was confusing. Did the CEO like him or did he just feel pity for him?

A rustling sound drew him from his thoughts. "Put these on," said Kaiba, tossing a pair of pajamas next to him. "Let me know if you need any help or when you're finished dressing." Kaiba then headed into the bathroom with his own change of clothes.

Joey looked down at the red silk pajamas Kaiba had left him with. They were smooth to the touch and seemed comfortable, even if they did appear a bit too big.

Taking off his shirt, he slipped the pajama top on and did the same with the pants. As soon as he finished, he let Kaiba know he was done. When the CEO came back into the room, he was dressed in a matching pair of pajamas, but these were blue instead of red.

"Are you ready to get some sleep?" asked Kaiba.

Joey nodded, but then he realized something. Where was he going to sleep? "Where am I gonna sleep?"

"Here," Kaiba answered a little too quickly as helped Joey up so that he could pull down the blankets.

"Wit' ya?"

Kaiba gave him his signature smirk. "I need to make sure that you're resting and not doing anything to harm yourself further, so yes, you'll be sharing my bed with me. Now get in."

Joey started to visibly tremble, not sure that he could quite trust the smirking brunet.

"Puppy," Kaiba began calmly, "I'm not going to do anything to you. I promise. I just want to be here in case you need anything or if your current condition worsens. You had a fever earlier and I want to keep an eye on you. I don't want you getting any worse. Now come to bed." Sliding into the bed, Joey soon found himself under the blankets with Kaiba lying right next to him.

Kaiba quickly realized that it looked like his Puppy wanted to ask him something. "What is it, Pup?"

"Could ya…never mind. It's stupid," Joey mumbled as he rolled so that his back was facing the CEO.

"Puppy, don't be afraid to ask me anything."

Joey shyly looked back at Kaiba and muttered, "Could ya…hold me until I fall asleep…please?"

When Kaiba made no indication of responding, Joey turned away from him again. It was a stupid idea anyway. Why would someone like Kaiba ever do something like tha—

Joey yelped as he suddenly felt two strong arms wrap around his body. "See? That wasn't so hard, was it?" whispered Kaiba.

Sighing contentedly, Joey replied, "No."

But he was still a bit tense. Kaiba knew that. He also knew that it would take a while before Joey would trust him. "Goodnight, Puppy."

"Good…night," he mumbled, his consciousness fading. It had been a long day and he was really tired. Joey figured he'd just sort out his feelings and the mess he'd gotten himself into tomorrow.

Kaiba relaxed and let a smile show on his face when he heard the soft snoring coming from his Puppy. Tightening his hold around him, he made himself more comfortable and thought about what tomorrow would have in store for them.

Perhaps the only way to truly get Joey to trust him would be to get to know him. It was probably a good thing that they had this Social Behavior Project to complete. This would give him the leverage he needed to…court his Puppy, if you will.

"Tomorrow, we'll start our project. Isn't that right, my fair Puppy?" Kaiba smirked at the sleeping blond. He couldn't wait until tomorrow. Although this was strange coming from him, he had to admit, what he had planned sounded quite…fun.

End Chapter