Dogfight!

Otogi leaned against his almost unused desk, examining last month's expense report. The profits were off. According to the paper in front of him, he should have 7,760 more yen than he had put in the bank yesterday afternoon. "Well, that's it, then," he murmured. Otogi pinched his nose and sighed in frustration. He had suspected from the start that Haga—who he had hired on the promise that his days of being an all-around jerk were quite done—had been pocketing a few hundred yen a shift, but the security videos hadn't been conclusive enough for Otogi to deny Haga the benefit of the doubt. He folded the expense report and placed it in his pocket before heading down the hall to the break room to wait for Haga to clock out.

He was there when Otogi walked in, just returning his time card to its slot. He turned at the sound of the door, and upon seeing his boss, greeted him in that reedy, annoying voice that hadn't deepened since they first met in America. "Good afternoon, Otogi!"

Otogi frowned. Haga was clearly wearing new insect-themed glasses that made his eyes even more freakishly bug-like than his old ones. "New glasses?" he asked casually.

"Oh, yes, do you like them?" Haga replied, turning his head slightly and admiring his reflection in the glass of the teapot.

"Custom made?"

"Designed them myself." He grinned as he adjusted his glasses' position on his nose.

"How did you pay for them?"

Haga stumbled over his words for a moment. "Well, I…I mean…that's why I got this job! To get new glasses! Yeah!"

"Haga, you're—" A ringtone emanated from Otogi's pocket, one he hadn't heard in quite a long time. So long, in fact, that he didn't remember to whose number it was connected. "Just a minute." He pulled out his cell phone and pressed it to his ear. "Hello?"

"Hi Otogi!" greeted a vaguely familiar voice.

"Who is this?" Otogi asked, grabbing Haga's arm as he tried to sneak out of the room.

The voice on the other end giggled. "It's me, Kawai Shizuka!"

Otogi nearly dropped the phone is surprise. He took a moment to regain his composure before replying, "Hey there, Shizuka. How's it been?"

"All right. I started at the university this year."

Haga struggled against Otogi's grip, pulling desperately in the direction of the exit.

Otogi backed up against the door, released Haga's arm, and glared at him as he spoke to Shizuka. "Sounds like you've been doing well."

"I have! I've heard that business is great at the Black Clown."

"Yeah, we're doing pretty well. Lot's of faithful customers, not a whole lot of thieves." He shot another pointed glare in Haga's direction.

"You've been having problems?" asked Shizuka, her voice conveying some worry.

Otogi watched suspiciously as Haga inched toward the corner of the room that had a window. "Just a minor incident. So, Shizuka, what made you call?" He took a couple of steps closer to the other side of the room as Haga turned his back and began fiddling with the clasp of the door.

"Oh, well..." Shizuka paused. "I...I was just wondering if you...well, if...if you happened to—"

Otogi came to a stop behind Haga and reached out to take him by the arm again. A split second later, he stumbled backward, unable to see for a thick, sticky substance covering his face. "Damn it Haga, get back here you bug!"

"Hee hee hee!"

"Otogi, is everything okay?"

"Just a sec, Shizuka." Otogi set the phone down on the nearest surface he felt and dashed blindly after the shrill cackle mixed with the sound of the door handle twisting. When he felt that he was reasonably close, Otogi dove and wrapped his hand around what he hoped was Haga's ankle.

A shattering sound was followed by the high-pitched shriek of, "My glasses!"

With his free hand, Otogi wiped the sticky stuff—which he desperately hoped was synthetic web material and nothing else—from his eyes and saw that he indeed had Haga's ankle.

Haga pushed himself up onto his hands and knees and felt around, grasping at shards of broken glass, making whimpering noises. "They were so expensive," he cried.

Once certain that Haga was too busy lamenting his custom bug glasses to leave, Otogi returned for the phone and put it to his ear before placing a foot squarely on Haga's back and pushing him to the ground. "Sorry about that. What were you saying?"

"What happened?"

Otogi looked down at the whimpering Haga with a smug grin. "Oh, nothing. What did you call for?"

The sound of her letting out a deep breath crackled through the speaker. "I need a job."

"Oh? That's—"

"I know it's a lot to ask, since you're not looking, but I really, really need it, as a favor, please—"

"It just so happens that I've recently come upon a cashier opening. When can you start?"

:::

Shizuka's voice caught in surprise. What luck! "T-tomorrow."

"Great. Come in whenever you can before closing and you can do paperwork and training."

"Thank you so much! I'll see you tomorrow! Goodbye!"

"Bye." There was a click on the other end.

Shizuka put her cell phone down and smiled out the window of her bedroom. She'd known she could count on Otogi to be there for her. Now all she had to do was—

"Who were you talking to, Shizuka? Sounded like you were making plans."

Shizuka spun around in her chair to find her roommate, Rebecca Hopkins, leaning against the doorframe. "Rebecca! I didn't know you'd come home. How was work?"

"Boring, as usual." She came in and sat on the bed, pulling her legs up under her. "Ever since I installed my security system to the Kaiba Corp. mainframe, there hasn't been a single successful attack."

"But that means it's working!" Shizuka said with a smile, hoping that she had managed to sufficiently distract Rebecca's attention from the phone call.

Rebecca tilted her head upward, sticking her nose into the air in a regal pose. "Of course it's working," she said in a mighty tone. "After all, I designed it. I just wish there was a little more excitement to my job, is all. Now Shizuka," she said sprawling herself across the bed and resting her chin in her hands, "who were you talking to?"

"My brother," she replied, smiling and standing from her chair. "He wanted to know if I could visit him at his house tomorrow."

"Is that all?" Rebecca asked, raising a fine golden eyebrow.

Shizuka managed a smile. "Mmhmm. How about we make something American for dinner?"

Rebecca jumped up and followed Shizuka out the door.

:::

Shizuka looked up at the giant clown that protruded from the top of the arch as she walked under it and through the doors into the Black Clown. She looked around at the walls, covered in cards and dice. Her eyes came to rest on Otogi, who was handing a bag to a small boy accompanied by his mom.

He looked up and smiled when their eyes met. "Good morning Shizuka!"

She smiled back. "Morning, Otogi."

Otogi picked up a phone and called for someone to take his place before jumping over the counter and approaching. "You're here a lot earlier than I expected. We just opened a few minutes ago."

"I don't have class until this afternoon," Shizuka replied. "I didn't know how long the paperwork and training would take, so I figured I should get here pretty early."

"Well, let's go to the back and get you set up, then," said Otogi as someone took his place behind the register. He held out a hand to her.

Shizuka looked at it for a moment, puzzled.

The hand dropped back to Otogi's side. "Well," he said, "this way."

She followed him through a door marked "Authorized Personnel Only", which led to a corridor lined with even more doors. They entered a room at the end of the hall. It was a tidy office; in fact, it looked almost unused.

"This is my office," Otogi said, straightening up to stand a little taller.

"It doesn't look like you ever use it," Shizuka commented.

"Not often," he admitted. "But it's nice to have when I need a quiet place to go over expense reports and other paperwork. Like," Otogi picked up a form from his desk, "this." He handed it to Shizuka. "I need for you to fill this out before we do training."

Shizuka placed the paper on the desk. "You wouldn't happen to have a pen in your office, would you?"

"Sure would." Otogi leaned over his desk and opened a drawer on the other side, from which he pulled out a fairly nice looking pen. He held it out to Shizuka.

She reached out and put her fingers on the pen, and for a brief moment both her fingers and her eyes met Otogi's. Shizuka broke the contact, leaned over, and began working on the paperwork.

"Here, you don't have to do that while standing up. Have a seat," insisted Otogi as he pulled his chair around from behind his desk.

Shizuka smiled, trying to keep from thinking about how…nice Otogi was being. He was a friend, yes, but his kindness bordered on, dare she think it, flirting. She sat down and finished the form in a couple of minutes, all the while painfully aware of his eyes on her. "Done!" she said cheerily, holding up the paperwork for him to take.

Otogi laid the paper on the keyboard of his laptop and closed it. "Ready for training?"

Shizuka took his proffered hand, noting how he held hers firmly but gently, how he didn't let go for a few moments after he had pulled her to her feet. "Is the training hands-on?" she finally asked.

"Yup. I'll show you how to work the register, then watch you help a couple of customers. If you do okay, you could be out of here by noon."

She grinned. "I didn't realize you were trying to get rid of me."

Otogi held his hands up and shook his head vigorously. "I didn't mean it like that! I just thought you might want lunch before - "

"I know what you meant," Shizuka replied with a giggle before starting back down the corridor to the main showroom of the store. She allowed Otogi to open the door and hold the hinged barrier to the counter for her. She had no problem following his brief tutorial of the register, although it was a little distracting to have him leaning over her, hovering close enough to transfer and uncomfortable amount of body heat. As promised, she checked out her last training customer just as the clock struck noon.

"Looks like you caught on pretty quickly," commented Otogi as the customer walked out the front door. "You deserve an award."

Shizuka smiled. "It was nothing. You explained it really well."

"Then how about we reward ourselves with some lunch?"

A freezing sensation went down Shizuka's spine. "Um...actually, I don't have enough money to eat out right now. I'm just going to go back home and make myself a bento, but—"

"I'll pay," Otogi said, his hand going down to the back pocket where he likely kept his wallet.

"No really!" Shizuka interrupted, backing out from behind the counter. "I couldn't! I'll be here tomorrow morning for work!" she called over her shoulder as she hurried out of the store. Once down the block a little ways, she paused and took a deep breath. She had never had a more awkward moment in her life. "I hope Otogi doesn't feel too bad..." she murmured. Her intention had not been to disappoint him, but what he was offering had sounded suspiciously close to a date. Shizuka began walking again, picking up the pace just a little, hurrying back to her apartment.

:::

Honda glanced around before striding across the busy street. He felt sorry for whoever was taking his place just as the lunch crowd started pouring into the restaurant at which he was a waiter. Whoever it was would undoubtedly be swamped with far more tables than one person could possibly handle. He was glad he had chosen to work the morning shift, even if it had meant getting up several hours earlier than he would have liked. He stretched his arms upward and tilted his head back to admire the clear blue glimpse of sky visible between the tall buildings that towered above him. He walked this way, fully mesmerized, until he ran right into a small obstruction, which let out a cry of pain, almost lost in the noontime bustle. He looked down, expecting a small child to retaliate with a stream of curses.

A young redheaded woman met his eyes, and after a few moments, offered a smile. "Hi there, Honda!"

"Shi-Shizuka?" Honda recognized her from the pictures of her high school graduation that Jonouchi kept tucked away inside his wallet. Not of course, because Jonouchi had been flaunting them—he knew Honda far to well for that—but rather because Honda borrowed the wallet while Jonouchi was snoring in his corner of the studio apartment that they shared…often. Maybe his obsession was unhealthy, but a guy could dream, right? And what man wouldn't appreciate the way she had matured over the last five years?

"How are you and Katsuya getting along as roommates?" Shizuka asked. "He never mentions you when we talk on the phone."

Honda's stomach dropped. Jonouchi always promised that he would put in a good word for him whenever he talked to his little sister. "Bastard," he muttered under his breath.

"What?"

"Great!" he replied, plastering on a false grin. "We haven't killed each other!" He scratched the back of his head and laughed along with Shizuka, a resounding, Yet! running through his mind. "So…uh…what are you doing out?"

"I just finished training for a job at the Black Clown."

Honda's grin faded instantaneously at the name of his rival's game shop. "You mean the one Otogi owns?"

Shizuka nodded. "That's the one! I couldn't get a job working decent hours anywhere else, so I called and Otogi told me that he had a new cashier opening!"

"Are you sure he didn't fire someone to make room for you?"

A worried expression crossed Shizuka's features. "I don't think so. I hope not…"

Realizing he'd caused Shizuka distress, Honda started laughing again, as though he'd made some clever joke. "Don't worry about it! He's a better business man than that!" When all signs of worry were erased from Shizuka's face, Honda asked, "So, are you hungry?"

"Um…" The worry came flooding back.

"Jonouchi told me you have a class at one-thirty on Tuesdays." Or rather, the copy of her class schedule in Jonouchi's wallet had told him. "It's already," he looked at his watch, "twenty after noon. There's a cheap place just a block away that's not too far from the university. I was just heading there for my lunch break. You can join me if you'd like. I mean…" Honda took a split second to steady his racing heartbeat. "Not like…like a date or anything. Just…you know…a girl and her brother's best friend. Getting lunch tog—"

"Sure."

Honda gaped, dumbfounded by his luck. "Sure?"

Shizuka gave him a warm smile. "Sure. Lead the way!"

After a moment longer, he took a step forward, looking over his shoulder for a moment to make sure Shizuka wasn't just pulling his leg. Not that he could ever imagine her doing such a thing. And of course, there she was, following closely behind him. He turned around quickly, before she could see the look of bewildered triumph in his eyes. He felt that this was a moment for which tears of joy would be appropriate. He chose a table outside under the awning and flagged down a waiter to take their orders. They sat in silence, stirring the ice around in their glasses with their straws. Every once in a while, Honda would sneak a glance up over his glass at Shizuka, who would conveniently be looking at the clouds or a child holding his mother's hand. He wished that he could catch her looking at him. Their food came and they ate without speaking. Finally, just as Shizuka was finishing off the last of her onigiri, Honda managed to get out what he had been thinking since their chance meeting on the sidewalk. "You know…you've…you've grown up a lot since I last saw you."

She continued chewing for a few seconds before swallowing her rice and smiling. There was a hint of worry in the angle of her eyebrows. "Um, thank you?"

"You're really—"

"Well, I'd better get to class!" Shizuka interrupted, standing suddenly and digging in her purse. She placed some money under her glass and said, "Tell him to keep the change!" over her shoulder as she hurried off.

Honda stared after her, his mind racing to figure out what he'd done wrong. He took one last, long swallow of his water before putting his own money on the table and heading back for work. "Maybe it wasn't me," he muttered to himself. "After all, she must have been pretty preoccupied if she ran into me." He frowned, wondering if Otogi had done something to make her uncomfortable. A half-baked plan to confront him began brewing deep in the back of Honda's thoughts as he entered the restaurant and clocked back in for his second shift.

:::

Otogi leaned against the doorjamb of the security room, watching the monitor trained on Shizuka's face with a small, wistful smile. Over the past three weeks, he had been secretly stealing looks at her while she cheerfully helped his customers. He couldn't be sure until he got the next expense report, but it almost seemed as though having such a friendly—and beautiful—cashier had been helping his sales considerably more than the unpleasant, thieving Haga's presence had. Otogi watched as she looked up almost directly into the camera, where the clock would be, and picked up the internal phone to call for someone to take her place. His trance was only broken when she disappeared from the screen and reappeared just outside the personnel door. He ducked across the hall into the break room, where he casually leaned against the counter and sipped at his empty teacup as Shizuka entered. He allowed her to clock out and start pulling on her coat before speaking. "You're working really hard, Shizuka."

She turned and gave him a smile. "Am I? It doesn't seem that way. After all, it's only been a few weeks."

"I've already seen improvement in business, though."

"I'm glad to help! I like helping the little kids with their purchases. Seeing them happy makes me happy." She started for the door.

Almost on a reflex, Otogi lunged forward and caught her by the wrist.

Shizuka turned, a question in her eyes.

"I want to take you to dinner on Friday night."

Her mouth fell daintily open and she stammered a few words before giving up trying to speak. "Otogi, I…um…"

"For working so hard. You're a great employee, and you deserve to be rewarded for that." Otogi was no fool. He had realized when Shizuka walked out on him so quickly after training that he would have to be a good deal less forward about flirting; her age had brought with it wisdom that her thirteen-year-old self had not possessed. "Nothing really fancy, I promise."

There was a long moment's pause before Shizuka replied. "Let me think about it for a couple of days, okay?"

Otogi kept a cool and collected expression on his face, but inside he was doing a frenzied dance of joy. She hadn't said no, and that was more than he could have said for three weeks ago. He pushed back his bangs as she left the room. It was only Tuesday, so she had plenty of time to think about it, and that satisfied Otogi for the time being.

:::

Despite knowing his next shift started in less than half an hour, Honda continued to pace around the block on which stood the Black Clown. He didn't feel too worried about there being a rush, not on a Thursday night, anyway. He had taken three weeks to mentally write a speech admonishing Otogi for making Shizuka feel so anxious, but now that the time had come to deliver it, he was having second thoughts. He glared up at the clown that stood over the entryway as he passed the front doors for the fifth time. Three weeks was too long. Otogi would probably have forgotten all about whatever he had done to Shizuka by now, which would render the speech pointless. Honda circled the building one more time before finally turning around and heading back to the restaurant, unable to bring himself to face his rival.

:::

Shizuka sat in front of her mirror, brushing her hair to the side. "Dress nice," Otogi had said, "but not too nice." She wasn't really sure why she had decided to accept his offer to take her to dinner in the first place. His justification that she was such a good employee was obviously a lie. She wasn't stupid: this was a date. In her mind, she played over all the possible ways she could turn him down if he asked her to be his girlfriend. "You're my boss. I'm not into you like that. We're too good of friends to ruin it." Maybe the chance to turn him down once and for all was why she had chosen to accept. Maybe—

"Shizuka, what are you doing?"

The blonde figure of her roommate appeared behind Shizuka in the mirror, startling the brush to the floor. "Rebecca! I thought you were working tonight."

Rebecca stooped down and picked the brush up off the floor. "One of my coworker's kids was sick yesterday, so he asked to trade shifts. What are you all dressed up for?"

Shizuka struggled to keep a straight face. "I'm…going out to dinner…with my brother."

"Why doesn't he just come over?"

"He insisted that we go out tonight. But we made the plans on the assumption that you would be working tonight. I can call and ask him if we can do it some other night if you want."

"No, it's fine. You and Jonouchi don't see each other as often as you should. I have a little bit of paperwork to do anyway."

"Okay." Shizuka picked up her cell phone when it began to vibrate. She opened the text message. It read, I'm here. "Well," she said, "he's come to pick me up. I'll see you later!" She stood and exited her room, walking quickly for the front door.

Rebecca was right behind her. "I want to say hi to your brother, so I'll come down with you!"

Shizuka quickened her pace. "No, really, we'll be late for our reservation if we don't leave soon!" She shut the door in Rebecca's face and hurried down the hall to the elevator. The doors slid closed just as Rebecca got through the apartment door. Shizuka breathed a sigh of relief as the elevator moved. Her phone vibrated again and she opened it to find a message from Rebecca. You look nice tonight. Shizuka couldn't help the smile that she wore as she stepped out of the elevator into the foyer of the building.

:::

Otogi put his cell phone back in his pocket and leaned back against the passenger side of his car. He looked up at the apartment building in front of him; it was no wonder Shizuka had needed a job so badly. The apartments here were not cheap. He wondered how she had even managed the down payment to move in. Out of the corner of his eye, Otogi caught a side door opening.

Through it came Shizuka, wearing a nice yellow sundress and modest white heels. As she came closer, Otogi detected a hint of blush and eyeshadow and the glint of lip gloss on her face.

For a moment, he was stunned, but he quickly regained his composure and opened the passenger door. "You look nice tonight," he said as she slid into the seat.

Shizuka's shoulders visibly tensed and she looked down, rummaging around in the little beaded white purse in her lap. "Um, thank you."

The drive to the restaurant was quiet. Otogi stole a sideward glance every so often, but not once did he catch Shizuka looking at him. As soon as he had gotten the car turned off, he jumped out and dashed around to the other side of the car to open Shizuka's door, neglecting to close his own in the process. As they approached the restaurant, Otogi asked, "Is something bothering you?"

Shizuka looked up, but didn't answer for a few long seconds. Then a smile spread across her face, giving it the color of emotion once more. "No! I was just thinking about a test I have on Monday is all." But as they sat at their table, waiting for service, the blankness began to intrude upon her features once more, giving Otogi the distinct impression that she was lying just to keep him happy.

:::

It was slow for a Friday. Not that Honda minded; he was paid by the hour, and tips were divided equally among the waiters.

"There's someone seated at table seven!"came a crackled voice from the little handheld radio transmitter mounted on the kitchen wall.

Honda picked up his notepad and pencil from the counter and strode out the swinging double doors to where his customers sat. Without so much as looking up to see their faces, he said, "Hello, I'm Honda and I'll be your server tonight. Can I take your drink order while you look over the menu?"

"I just want water."

The familiar female voice nearly made him drop his notepad. Honda did fumble with his pencil for a moment, almost losing it to gravity before managing to get it pressed firmly to the paper.

"I'll take iced tea if you have it. Unsweet."

Honda did drop the notepad at this voice. He knelt down to grab it, and on his way up, shot what he hoped was a gut-piercing, heart-stopping glare at Otogi, who merely smirked in response. "I'll have your drinks out for you in a minute." He hurried away from the table at which his worst nightmare was unfolding. He entered the kitchen and grabbed two glasses. The first he filled with Shizuka's ice water; he had plans for the second. Of course, he couldn't do anything too terrible to Otogi, or else he would be fired, and he could hardly afford to lose his job; Jonouchi would kill him if he was suddenly unable to help pay rent. Honda chose the pitcher of tea in which all the ice had melted and poured Otogi's glass full to the brim. His drink was sure to be watered down, lukewarm, and sickeningly sweet. Honda removed all but one of the straws from his apron before returning to the main room, taking extra care not to spill Otogi's drink. By the time he got to their table, the menus were sitting on the edge and Otogi was impatiently drumming his fingers. Honda shot him another glare. "Here's your tea, sir. And here's your water." He sat their drinks down and placed the straw in the middle of the table. "Are you ready for me to take your orders?"

"We'll be sharing the sushi and rice plate," Otogi answered, his faint smirk widening just a bit.

"Will that be all?" said Honda as he took the menus.

"Can I get a straw?" Otogi handed the one on the table to Shizuka.

"I'll see what I can do." Honda turned on his heel and left before Otogi would have a chance to drink his tea. He handed his order to the chef and then went to small window through which orders were placed on busier nights, which happened to be a great vantage point of table seven.

Even from a distance, Shizuka looked uncomfortable. There were several instances in which Otogi attempted to strike up a conversation, but Shizuka's answers appeared to be short, and she would always dug around in her purse immediately afterward. Finally, in a particularly long pause between attempted conversation, Otogi picked up his glass and took a drink from it.

Honda held back an absurdly feminine squeal of glee when—he hoped it was the taste had shocked him—Otogi tipped the drink too far and spilled half the glass into his own lap. Only then did Honda pick up a straw and exit the kitchen. He just barely managed to suppress a sadistic grin as he approached the table, could hardly keep the glee out of his voice as he asked, "What happened here, sir?"

"That disgusting glass of tea! Bring me some napkins!"

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't have napkins. You can always go to the bathroom to get some paper towels. Or dry your crotch at our environmentally friendly machines."

Otogi jumped up, strategically leaning over the table to conceal the wet patch on his pants. "This isn't funny Honda! Stop being a jealous asshole!"

Shizuka stood as well. "I'll go get some paper towels for you Otogi."

"Let him get them himself, Shizuka!" Honda told her heatedly. "Make him suffer some embarrassment too!"

"I don't know what you're talking about, Honda." She slipped past him and wove between the tables.

After a moment, Otogi lowered himself back into his chair. "Looks like your sabotage plan backfired, huh?" There was no effort to hide the smirk on his face.

"Order up!" The plate of sushi and rice slid through the window.

Honda retrieved it and set it down at table seven.

"I think it went pretty well," Honda answered as he returned with the plate, his eyes following Shizuka's as she disappeared out the front door. "After all, you're date just left the building." Otogi was back on his feet in a split second, but Honda caught him before he could dash out the door to follow Shizuka. "Somebody's gotta pay for this sushi and rice." He relished the expression of loathing he received as Otogi dutifully pulled out his wallet and placed money on the table before hurrying out.

:::

Shizuka stood behind the register next Monday morning, tensely awaiting the moment she and Otogi crossed paths again. She felt terrible for walking out on him, but she just couldn't stand that he and Honda were fighting over her in public. She plastered on a smile when she heard the bell on the front door ring; the smile was quickly wiped from her face when she saw who had come in. Her mouth opened to speak, but Honda quickly cut her off.

"Look, I just came in to apologize for my behavior Friday night. I was outta control. I'm sorry I upset you."

She looked to the side. "Well, to be honest, I was looking for a reason to leave, beca—"

"Get out of here, Honda." Beside the open personnel door stood Otogi, an irate expression spreading rapidly across his face.

Honda's apologetic aura vanished just as quickly. "It's a free country! I can be here if I damn well please!"

"I own the store, and I can have security kick you out!"

"Get over it!"

"You were immature!"

"She was obviously not enjoying herself!"

"How would you know? You were in the kitchen!"

"…I could still tell!"

Shizuka frowned. This had gone far enough. "Both of you stop!" she yelled over them. She looked at them both, halted mid-lunge at each other, fists clenched, prepared for a fight. "I'm not interested in either of you, okay? And don't try to make me. I'm already dating someone."

"WHAT?" Honda and Otogi exclaimed simultaneously, too dumbfounded to even shoot each other glares.

The resulting silence was ended by the bell on the front door. "There you are." Rebecca stood in the middle of the room, hands on her hips.

"Hi there, Bec," Otogi said after a moment.

"Don't you hi there Bec me, Otogi," she said before jumping over the counter and taking Shizuka's hand. "Let's go home."

"Um, Rebecca…I'm…working…a-and how did you find me here?"

"Well, I noticed you'd been acting weird, but I couldn't figure it out until I saw the car you got into Friday night to go eat dinner with Jonouchi. No way he drives something that fancy. I called him just to make sure. He said he didn't know what dinner plans you were talking about, and that you haven't seen each other in two months. So I exercised my hacking talents and found out that you've been working here for the past few weeks and lying about it. By the way," she pulled a pair of museum passes from her bra, "you shouldn't leave anniversary gifts lying around. I could find them or something."

Shizuka cringed slightly as both Otogi's and Honda's eyes bugged and their jaws dropped to the floor.

"By the way, Otogi, she quits. She has enough to worry about with school."

"Rebecca!" Shizuka didn't even have time to protest the kiss that Rebecca planted full on her lips. She didn't struggle as Rebecca dragged her out the door, instead simply calling over her shoulder, "I'm taking the day off, Otogi!" to her thoroughly bewildered boss.


Done! Written for the first round of Season 10 of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Fanfiction Contest! Hope you enjoyed!

Reviews are always greatly appreciated! :D